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Kawakita v. United States (1952)

Tomoya Kawakita, born in the United States to Japanese parents, was in Japan when World War II broke out. During the war he supported the Japanese cause. He went to work in a factory where he supervised and also abused American prisoners of war who were forced to work there. After the war he returned to the United States on a U. S. passport, whereupon he was arrested for treason, convicted, and sentenced to death. Kawakita appealed the sentence, arguing that he had registered as a Japanese national during the war and therefore was not a traitor. The Supreme Court ruled that Kawakita had neither acquired Japanese citizenship nor renounced U. S. citizenship, since he was already a dual national. Kawakita lost the appeal but instead of execution he was stripped of his U. S. citizenship and deported to Japan.


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