John A. Balch


Name John A. Balch
Born August 6 1876
Died May 15 1951
Birth Location San Francisco

Honolulu businessman who was one of the few local leaders to advocate for the mass removal of Japanese Americans from Hawai'i. A pioneer of the telephone industry in the islands since his arrival in 1907, John A. Balch (1876–1951) served as the president of Mutual Telephone Co. for fourteen years, retiring in 1940. Perhaps influenced by his San Francisco roots, Balch was one of the few business leaders in Honolulu to hold explicitly anti-Japanese views. In January of 1943, he published a 38 page pamphlet titled "Shall the Japanese Be Allowed to Dominate Hawaii?" that consisted mostly of correspondence with various officials about the "Japanese problem" in Hawai'i. In an August 1942 letter to Admiral Chester W. Nimitz included in that pamphlet, he advocated the removal of 100,000 "Japanese" to "inland Mainland farming states." He left the islands after the war and died in San Francisco in 1951.

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho

For More Information

Balch, J. A. "Shall the Japanese Be Allowed to Dominate Hawaii?" Honolulu: privately printed, 1943.

Fuchs, Lawrence H. Hawaii Pono: A Social History. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961.

Obituary, Honolulu Advertiser, May 16, 1951, p. 1.