Bill to probe WWII roundup of Japanese in Latin nations

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A U.S. senator has introduced a bill to investigate the relocation, internment and deportation of Latin Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II and the late 1940s.

"They were taken from their homes in countries such as Brazil, Panama and Peru, stripped of their passports, involuntarily brought to the United States and interned in American camps," said Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, in a news release Wednesday.

"They apparently had only one purpose on U.S. soil -- to be used for prisoner exchanges with Japan," Inouye said.

A bill co-sponsor, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, said a panel would investigate the largely unknown aspect of the internment of some 2,300 Latin Americans of Japanese ancestry.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment of about 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry. They received a formal apology from President Reagan in 1988.

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