Bill ClintonClinton_JapaneseInternment

What was the accusation?

More than 50 years after the opening of the first Japanese Internment Camps in the United States, President Bill Clinton sent letters to each survivor asking for forgiveness on behalf of the American people.  The apology was an extension of a piece of legislation passed by Ronald Reagan in 1988 which also apologized and offered reparations of about $20,000 per person afflicted by the camps, including children of those detained.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Mortification, Corrective Action



Transcript of Clinton’s Letter of Apology

Over fifty years ago, the United States Government unjustly interned, evacuated, or relocated you and many other Japanese Americans.  Today, on behalf of your fellow Americans, I offer a sincere apology to you for the actions that unfairly denied Japanese Americans and their families fundamental liberties during World War II.

In passing the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, we acknowledged the wrongs of the past and offered redress to those who endured such grave injustice. In retrospect, we understand that the nation’s actions were rooted deeply in racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a lack of political leadership. We must learn from the past and dedicate ourselves as a nation to renewing the spirit of equality and our love of freedom.  Together, we can guarantee a future with liberty and justice for all.  You and your family have my best wishes for the future.


Presidential letter of apology (1993, October 1). PBS. Retrieved from: