Japanese American Evacuation Claims Act

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Signed into law in 1948 by President Harry S. Truman in the context of changing attitudes towards Japanese Americans and minority civil rights, the Japanese American Evacuation Claims Act provided a mechanism for compensation to Japanese Americans for losses incurred due to their wartime removal and incarceration. However, the legislation proved largely ineffectual due to onerous burdens for proving losses and red tape that slowed the process to a crawl. Though the process was later streamlined for claims under $2,500, the last claim wasn't settled until 1965. In all, the government paid out $38 million on claims totaling $131 million.

For More Information

Chuman, Frank F. The Bamboo People: The Law and Japanese-Americans. Del Mar, Calif.: Publisher's Inc., 1976.

Nakasone-Huey, Nancy N. "In Simple Justice: The Japanese-American Evacuation Claims Act of 1948." Dissertation, University of Southern California, 1986.

Robinson, Greg. A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.