Government apologizes and awards redress checks to Japanese American centenarians in Seattle on October 14, 1990.

  • By Priscilla Long
  • Posted 11/28/2001
  • Essay 3646
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On October 14, 1990, in Seattle's Nisei Veterans Hall, the United States government officially apologizes to five Japanese Americans, ages 100 and over, who had been unjustly incarcerated during the internment of West Coast Japanese Americans during World War II. During the ceremony, the five, Harry Nakagawa (100 years old), Kichisaburo Ishimitsu (103), Uta Wakamatsu (102), Shoichiro Katsuno (105), and Frank Yatsu (107) each receive, by way of redress, a $20,000 check as required by the Civil Liberties Act (1988).

U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the act for redress into law on August 10, 1988, and President George Bush signed an appropriations supplement into law on November 21, 1989. The law provided that the oldest eligible individuals be paid first.

The hall was packed with joyful and tearful celebrants. The crucial impetus and essential organizing for the redress bill had come from Seattle.


Robert Sadamu Shimabukuro, Born in Seattle: The Campaign for Japanese American Redress (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001), 109-110.

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