Japanese Internment The Japanese Internment took place between the years of 1941 and 1949. At the time most of the Japanese population was concentrated in the United States on the West Coast of Canada. The Japanese first immigrated to U.S. to work on the railroad in 1900. By 1921 the Japanese population numbered nearly 16,000 people and had possessed nearly half of the fishing licenses in the United States and British Columbia.
In 1941, 23,000 Japanese were living throughout the U.S. and Canada. On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. After the attack, their government took all Japanese owned boats, radios, and cameras. After the public pressured the government, and they took action and the government moved all Japanese from a 100-mile wide security strip along the U.S and British Columbia coast.
Later, the government gave a further statement that declared that all people of Japanese origin were considered aliens until the end of World War II. In the first year of the war, the 21,000 Japanese who were affected by the war regulations, were sent to various states across the U.S. The government assured the states that the Japanese would stay in agriculture and would be removed after the war, at the state’s request. The remaining 12,000 Japanese were taken to Interior Housing Centers in the middle of the western part of the U.S. These housing centers consisted of four abandoned mining towns and two completely new communities. During the internment the U.S.
Government claimed all the Japanese’s land and possessions and sold them for a factor of the original cost. A good example of the Government’s discrimination towards the Japanese is when the Government sold most of the Japanese owned property and land, without the Japanese’s consent. Although Japan was one of the countries opposing the Allied powers, the Japanese were the only race that was interned. The internment was an act of discrimination, because the Italians and the Germans as well as the Austrians were pretty much left alone. At the same time as 12,000 Japanese were being placed in abandoned mining towns and later deported, Austrians, Italians, and Germans were walking freely around the United States with out being asked for much more than identification.
Another strong argument raised by the Japanese Internment is why the U.S. Government Interned the Japanese Americans. Other people support this opinion, but think that the Germans, Austrians, and Italians should have been treated the same way. A different opinion is that the internment shouldn’t have happened at all, and that the Japanese were discriminated against throughout the war. For example, in 1907, the Government had restricted the number of Japanese immigrants to a mere 400 a year.
Many people believe that the Japanese skin color was a factor in the internment. During the war German, Italian, and Austrian Americans were left alone, while the Japanese were sent to prison Camps, and abandoned mining towns to live in, and being deported back to Japan for no reason, other that their home land was waging war against the Allied powers. Japan was one of the Axis powers, but it was not the only one. Three other countries were aiding them in the war and none of their U.S. citizens were bothered, interned, or deported.
Many people believe that the U.S. Government treated the Japanese badly because of their skin color and ethnic origin. In conclusion, a majority of people feels that the Government acted upon the Japanese Americans unfairly using segregation, discrimination and prejudice, to separate them from the rest of Canada. Many people have observed that even before the war, the Government treated the Japanese unfairly, by not granting them citizenship even tough they were born there. This is only one side of the story and only one of the many positions that should be looked upon.
Many other sides, perspectives, and aspects should also be looked at before making judgment on what happened, how it happened and why the Japanese Internment happened. The U.S. Government might have acted fairly upon the Japanese considering the situation, but as said before there are many other sides, perspectives and aspects to the Japanese Internment. This situation has been discussed in the past and will continue to be talked about in the future. The Japanese Internment is a big part of the United States past, and history and will remain like that forever.