War on the Homefront • QUESTION 1: What is more important to you: Civil liberties (democracy, individual freedoms, rights etc.) OR National Security • QUESTION 2:Would this change during war? Why or why not?
Japanese Aggression… • Japanese expansion in East Asia began in 1931 with the invasion of Manchuria and continued in 1937 with a brutal attack on China. • On February 24th, 1933, Japan stuns the world and withdraws from the League of Nations.
The Tripartite Pact • On September 27, 1940, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy, thus entering the military alliance known as the "Axis."
Embargo Against Japan • the United States, Britain and the Netherlands froze all Japanese financial assets. The effect was to prevent Japan from purchasing oil, which would, in time, cripple its army and make its navy and air force completely useless.
Japanese Bomb Pearl Harbour! • December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt declares it “The Day of Infamy”.
The Battle of HongKong • Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas Day 1941. • Of the 1,975 Canadians, 290 were killed and 493 wounded. A further 260 died in the awful conditions of prison camps in Hong Kong and Japan.
Japanese Canadians in British Columbia First Generation (Issei) • First immigrants landed in 1877 • Faced xenophobia from ‘white’ Canadians and viewed as unable to assimilate compared to Europeans • Japanese culture important to you and you are viewed still hold a strong allegiance to Japan • In Canada during the 1940s- Issei denied the right to vote and denied jobs in civil service and teaching and paid lower wages that whites • Primarily fisherman or fishing businesses Second Generation (Nisei) • Canadian born; fluent in English, well educated • Face anti-Japanese prejudices • No voting rights due to opposition from Anglo Canadians and British Columbia residents • Prime Minister Mackenzie King stated that both the Issei and Nisei face “extreme difficulty in assimilated into Canadian culture”. • Primarily fisherman or fishing businesses
Anglo-Canadian Reactions to Japanese Canadians • Perceived as a threat to British Columbia’s ethnic ‘purity’ • Did not want them living in communities as J-C could not assimilate and remained immersed in own culture • Anti-Japanese demonstrations were increasing and the Japanese Canadians were not well integrated or accepted by the local population. • Resentment against Japanese Canadians exploded into panic and anger in British Columbia in 1930s
The Canadian War Measures Act • “gave the government sweeping powers to ensure the security, defence, peace, order, and welfare of Canada.” • Used to imprison CANADIANS of German, Ukrainian, and Slavic descent in WWI. • In 1941, following bombing of Pearl Harbour, 1,200 fishing boats were seized by the Canadian navy • By Canadian Government order, 23 000 Japanese Canadians were interned and moved into camps
■The movement of 23,000 Japanese Canadians during the war was the largest mass exodus in Canadian history. Japanese Internment in Canada
Internment Timeline • 1941 (December 8): 1,200 Japanese Canadian fishing boats are impounded. Japanese language newspapers and schools close. • 1942 (January 16): Removal begins of Japanese immigrant males from coastal areas. • 1942 (February 24): All male Japanese Canadian citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 ordered to be removed from 100-mile-wide zone along the coast of British Columbia. • 1942 (February 26): Mass evacuation of Japanese Canadians begins. Some given only 24 hours notice. Cars, cameras and radios confiscated for “protective measures”. Curfew imposed. • 1942 (March 4): Japanese Canadians ordered to turn over property and belongings to Custodian of Enemy Alien Property as a “protective measure only”. • 1942 (March 25): British Columbia Security Commission initiates scheme of forcing men to road camps and women and children to “ghost town” detention camps.
Justified? YES • Prime Minister Mackenzie King took necessary precautions to ensure national security of Canada and North America, as the US had also interned Japanese-Americans • Despite no evidence of threat, there was no guarantee of loyalty or passivity of the Japanese Canadians to homeland Japan • Canadians felt that Japanese-born Canadians showed too much sympathy for Japan and that there was a chance that some of them might form a fifth column (espionage). • “Japan was aggressively expanding in the Pacific (islands of Attu and Kiska). Moreover, American and Canadian governments were more alarmed as a Japanese submarine had fired on telegraph station and lighthouse in British Columbia”. • The interment, deportation and relocation of the Japanese Canadians was for their own safety and was legal through War Measure Act NO • Japanese Canadians were judged solely on the basis of their racial ancestry, and not their citizenship. • Internment based on racist and xenophobic public sentiment • RCMP and Canadian military evaluations suggest no imminent threat to national security and the J-C are law abiding citizens • The Japanese Canadians were harshly mistreated, property was seized and sold and used to pay for camps • Camps had terrible conditions • Food packages were sent from Japan through the Canadian Red Cross to those suffering in the camps • Canadian government spend 1/3 the per capita amount expended by the US on Japanese American internees
Outcomes of Internment • After the war, the federal government decided to remove all Japanese Canadians from British Colombia. • The Japanese were forced to choose between deportation to war ravaged Japan or dispersal East of the Rocky mountains. • Public protest would eventually stop the deportations, but not before 4000 Japanese left the country.
Acknowledging Wartime Wrongs • Forty-three years after the end of the war, Prime minister Brian Mulroney acknowledged the wrong doings of the Canadian government and announced the awarding of $21,000 for each individual directly wronged. • Is this an acceptable redress to the issue?
Link • http://www.japanesecanadianhistory.net/other_resources.htm#tr