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Draft Resisters

In January 1944, the War Relocation Authority reinstated the military draft for Japanese Americans. The irony of being drafted out of enclosures into which they had been forced because they could not be trusted as loyal citizens was quite evident.

Conscience and the Constitution

1:02 Min.


"In America, a handful of young men refused to be drafted from an American concentration camp. Restore our rights and free our families, they said. Then we'll be glad to fight."

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Some Nisei men resisted the draft on the grounds that their constitutional rights and those of their family members had been violated in the incarceration.

315 Nisei refused to report for induction into the armed forces until their constitutional rights were restored. In all, 267 men from the detention camps were convicted of draft resistance and sentenced to three years in federal penitentiaries.

Also, over a hundred Nisei soldiers, already in the armed forces, engaged in acts of protest by refusing to undergo combat training while their families were still behind barbed wire.

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