The 1943 WRA Memo
A confidential memo penned by Mike Masaoka, to the War Relocation Authority
Until recently, it was unclear how closely Mike Masaoka (National Secretary of the JACL during the War) had worked and collaborated with the War Relocation Authority. In particular, many long had suspected that Masaoka was behind the idea of “segregating” internees considered “disloyal” to America into a special camp of their own.
This confidential memo, written by Masaoka in January, 1943 just weeks before the infamous “Loyalty Questionnaire” was distributed to all internees in the ten camps, confirms that Masaoka pressed hard for a segregation policy that ultimately resulted in suspected “disloyals” being sent to the harsh prison camp at Tule Lake, California.
The original document can also be found on the website for the PBS documentary Conscience and the Constitution, telling the story of the Heart Mountain resisters.