The 41st president, George H. W. Bush
On August 10, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed HR442 into law. Three years later, on October 9, 1991, letters of formal apology and checks from the United States government were issued to each of the living survivors of internment.
Japanese Americans who had been relocated during World War II, and the American and the international public
To apologize for the relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II, and to compensate them with a payment for monies they may have lost due to relocation
This letter recognizes that serious injustices were done to Japanese Americans during World War II.
Written 45 years after the internment camps closed, President Bush's letter provides an understanding on how the nation's thinking has changed on this issue.
THE WHITE HOUSE
A monetary sum and words alone cannot restore lost years or erase painful memories; neither can they fully convey our Nation’s resolve to rectify injustice and to uphold the rights of individuals. We can never fully right the wrongs of the past. But we can take a clear stand for justice and recognize that serious injustices were done to Japanese Americans during World War II.
In enacting a law calling for restitution and offering a sincere apology, your fellow Americans have, in a very real sense, renewed their traditional commitment to the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice. You and your family have our best wishes for the future.