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"Freedom from Want and Fear" by Steve Payne

Author says: what if the invading soldiers of the Empire of Japan restored civil liberties denied by the arsenal of democracy? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

In 1945, the twenty-third "Sunrise" Infantry Division of the Imperial Japanese Army liberated the Gila River Internment Camp in Arizona. One of the internees was thirteen year old Noriyuki "Pat" Morita (pictured), later to become one of the iconic Japanese American actors of the second half of the twentieth century.Click to watch the Pat Morita Interview

Forced into a lengthy sentence behind barbed wire in crowded, primitive camps, Japanese Americans such as Morita had been deprived of the very liberties set out by the Atlantic Charter, namely "freedom from fear and want". Because nearly 120,000 people living on the West Coast had been hurried out of their homes and relieved of their possessions and businesses at less than forty hours notice (of the 127,000 Japanese Americans living in the continental United States at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, 112,000 resided on the West Coast and of those 80,000 were born in the United States and holding American citizenship).

And at their subsequent trials, incarcerated liberal politicians such as Earl Warren and Fiorello La Guardia confessed their shame at this mass violation of civil liberties which was rivaled only by the systematic segregation of African-Americans. That remorse was only matched by the military planners of the United States Joint Army and Navy Board; disasterously, their War Plan Orange had failed to anticipate the role of submarines and naval aviation in the Pacific Theatre.

Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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