WEST COVINA (AP) — A Japanese-American who helped lead draft resistance at a World War II internment camp has died in Southern California.
Frank Emi was 94. His daughter, Kathleen Ito, tells the Los Angeles Times that he died on Dec. 1 at a West Covina hospice.
The Los Angeles grocer was among thousands of innocent Japanese-Americans forced into camps after Pearl Harbor. When the government decided to draft Japanese-Americans in 1944, Emi and six others formed the Fair Play Committee, which argued that Japanese-Americans shouldn’t have to fight for freedom abroad when they were denied it at home.
Three hundred men from the camps were imprisoned for draft evasion. Emi and six others were convicted of conspiracy and he was imprisoned for 18 months. All were exonerated or pardoned in 1945.
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