Stigma of Japanese-American war internees in U.S. lingers

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Twenty years after the United States offered a national apology and reparations to Japanese-Americans for forcibly relocating them to internment camps during World War II, those who fought against the injustice still bear a stigma.

High school teacher Haruo Kawate, 61, thought he knew everything about his father until the recent discovery of an old leather trunk in a closet in his home in Mitaka, western Tokyo.

Inside were old diaries and photographs of his father that gave Kawate a look at a part of the man's life he had not known.

Kawate was aware that his father, Masao, who passed away 11 years ago, had been held in a U.S. internment camp. But he never imagined that he was sent to isolated prison camps for fighting against the legality of a questionnaire used for judging whether Japanese-Americans were loyal to the U.S.

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