Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians

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Committee members at a CWRIC hearing in Seattle, Washington in 1981

The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) [1] was a group of nine people appointed by the U.S. Congress in 1980 to conduct an official governmental study of Executive Order 9066, related wartime orders and their impact on Japanese Americans in the West and Alaska Natives in the Pribilof Islands. In February 1981, the Commission concluded that the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II was a "grave injustice."[2] In July 1981, the Commission held public hearings in Washington, D.C. to hear testimony from Japanese American witnesses. Public hearings followed in other American cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, Cambridge, New York City, Anchorage, the Aleutian Islands, Pribilof Islands (St. Paul), Chicago, and Los Angeles, where the testimonies were recorded.[1][3] Over 750 people testified.[4]

In 1983, the CWRIC issued its findings in Personal Justice Denied, concluding that the incarceration of Japanese Americans had not been justified by military necessity. Rather, the report determined that the decision to incarcerate was based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership."[5]

Lastly, the Commission recommended legislative remedies consisting of an official Government apology and redress payments. On August 10, 1988, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was signed into law.[6] The Act's purposes included acknowledging and apologizing for the injustice of the evacuation and internment of citizens; creating a public education fund to inform the public; make restitution to parties affected; discourage a similar event from happening in the future; and demonstrating the U.S.'s consideration of human rights violations.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians". Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  2. ^ "Wartime Internment of Japanese was 'Grave Injustice,' Panel Says". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Redress Hearings Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) Hearings (1981)". Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Children of the Camps Internment History Timeline". PBS. 
  5. ^ "Personal Justice Denied". Personal Justice Denied. National Archives. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  6. ^ "Public Law 100-383 -- August 10, 1988". Internment Archives. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Text of the Civil Liberties Act of 1987". GovTrack. GovTrack. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 

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