segunda-feira, 14 de outubro de 2013

Brazil apologizes for racism against Japanese community during WWII

I feel happy for the Japanese community recognition. 

When will be the afrodescedents time? 

Humberto Adami

Brazil apologizes for racism against Japanese community during WWII

Brazil apologizes for racism against Japanese community during WWII
The National Truth Commission has apologized for the racial discrimination that the Japanese community suffered in the hands of Brazil, a member of the Allied Forces during the Second World War. Rosa Cardoso, a lawyer at the commission, believes it’s time for Brazil to “ask forgiveness in relation to the Japanese.” Brazil is home to the largest Japanese ethnic population overseas, with 1.5 million immigrants including second and third generation descendants.
Cardoso revealed that there has never been any formal apology issued by the government of Brazil. During the war, especially following the attack onPearl Harbor, thousands of Japanese were suspected of being spies or collaborators and ended up being either arrested or deported. Hundreds of Japanese schools were also closed, while speaking and writing in Japanese was prohibited. The Japanese community living near the coastline was forced to relocate, while those in northern Para State were forbidden to travel. “I apologize and ask forgiveness on behalf of all Brazilian citizens with a generous view of society because the background of this episode is racism,” Cardoso said.
The apology came 25 years after the United Statesand Canada made their respective acknowledgment and apology for discrimination and internment of Japanese immigrants in their countries. Even before the war broke out, the Japanese migrants already suffered discrimination when they first arrived in Latin America’s only Portuguese-speaking country. “The Brazilian elite have always been racist,” Cardoso admitted.
According to some survivors of the Brazilian torture, their loyalty was tested by being forced to step on a photo of Emperor Hirohito. Akira Yamachio, who was still a child during WWII, testified how his father and other Japanese prisoners were arrested and tortured in Anchieta in the State of Santa Catarina. “There inside [the penitentiary] there was persecution and torture,” he said. People were also ordered to take off their clothes and pass through a corridor of death.
“There was a lot of torture, discrimination and violence, legitimized by the nationalism of that period,” said Mario June Okuhara, who directed the movie Yami no Ichinichi. The film featured recorded testimonies of WWII survivors. He also thanked the truth commission for the apology, which he believes to be the beginning of the recognition of the violence against the Japanese community, many of which worked in coffee plantations. “This was silenced during the dictatorship and many have forgotten it, like they have forgotten to speak Japanese … Rescuing the truth about the arduous ordeal of the Japanese was a bold initiative.”
Meanwhile, author Fernando Morais believes that the next step of the apology should be compensation for the survivors and families of the victims. Morais has written a book about Japanese, Italian, and German migrants who suffered detention, torture, and killing during the Second World War. “Brazil should not only apologize. It owes money, a lot of money, to the Japanese community,” he said. “The confiscation of assets is well documented in the Centra Bank’s archives. Nobody ever got anything back.” The United States and Canada both compensated following their apologies in 1988.

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