Dr. Naoko Wake testifies on SB-18, Korematsu Day in perpetuity

On March 2, the Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committee of the Michigan Senate voted to pass SB-18, establishing Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in perpetuity.

Korematsu Day recognizes Dr. Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American citizen who was wrongfully detained at an internment camp after President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order to incarcerate more than 120,000 Japanese Americans.

Professor of History and Director of Asian Pacific American studies at Michigan State University, Naoko Wake, testified on Feb 16 in favor of the bill.

“I teach Michiganders at Michigan State, where Korematsu’s history is taught everywhere,” Wake said.

“It is not only an Asian American issue; it is also an important lesson in US history, and US history of international relations. My students take delight in learning about Korematsu’s story because it teaches them a way to grasp their nation’s past and present.”

An additional six states already have Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in perpetuity including Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Listen to Wake’s testimony here: Michigan Senate (castus.tv)

Karen Korematsu (left) daughter of Fred Korematsu and Dr. Naoko Wake (right)