10-019

 

IFOBAMA HAD BEEN PRESIDENT DECEMBER 8, 1941

 

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and House of Representatives:

 

Yesterday, December 7, 1941- a date which will live in diversity- the United States was suddenly and deliberately recalled to its responsibilities to the world by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

 

The United States was at peace, complacent, content to be in conversation with that nation, looking toward the maintenance of the status quo in the Pacific.

 

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had begun their perhaps overly vigorous demonstration in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And, while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue diplomatic negotiations, due to our ethnic insensitivity, there was no hint of the surprise delivered yesterday.

 

It will be remembered that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the demonstration was planned many days or weeks ago, as the Japanese began to despair of our concessions to their concerns.

 

The strenuous Japanese protest has caused some little disruption to the perhaps unneccessarily prominent posture of our naval and military forces.We must look at it from Japanís point of view. How did we blunder to cause this incident?What can we do to make amends?

 

The facts of yesterday speak for themselves.I have ordered the following responses:

 

As part of repairing Pearl Harbor, we shall erect a Shinto shrine, thus demonstrating our renewed commitment to friendship and diversity.

 

All military commanders are hereby ordered to bend recruitment activities to create military organizations which reflect the ethnic make-up of our great, though not exceptional,nation.Especially should they encourage participation by those of Japanese, German, and Italian ancestry.This edict also applies to all government agencies and all entities receiveing or applying for federal funds.

 

I call on all newspapers to offer editions in Japanese.Non-compliance will result in shortages of newsprint and advertising.

 

I believe that I interpret the will of Congress and of the people when I assert we will do our uttermost to dedicate ourselves to peace and diversity.

 

I ask that Congress declare December 7 as a day of national remorse for our failure to accommodate the Japanese Empire.