On February 19, 1942, following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war against Japan, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which empowered the Secretary of War to exclude “any and all persons” from designated areas in the United States. Shortly thereafter, some 120,000 civilians of Japanese descent were prohibited from living, working, or traveling on the West Coast. By October 1942, over 100,000 “evacuees” were relocated and confined to ten remote internment camps for the duration of the war.

The War Relocation Authority (WRA) administered these camps and had the responsibility to feed, house, educate, and provide employment for the evacuees. This article describes the WRA's use of accounting information and situates the role of accounting within a labor-process framework. It initially discusses labor-process theory and provides an overview of the internment episode and cooperative accounting in the U.S. It then focuses on particular accounting policies, procedures, and reports that were used by the WRA to manage enterprises, monitor internment activities, and socialize evacuees with American capitalistic values.

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