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Japanese-Canadian Internment was Necessary

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Jay Shin

on 30 May 2016

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Transcript of Japanese-Canadian Internment was Necessary

Japanese-Canadian Internment Was Necessary
Vince Phung & Jay Shin
Japan was against Canada during WW2
December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the American Naval base
Government wanted to defend Canada from potential attacks from their enemies
People living in BC wanted protection and safety
People asked the government to take action on this issue
Government separated the Japanese-Canadian and moved them to internment camps to safe guard the Canadians from Japanese spies/threat

National Security
Frank Bernard, a Vancouver businessman, once said,

"I believe 95% of them were loyal to Canada under normal circumstances, but who knows how many of them might have turned had the Japanese invaded the west coast."
National Security
Internment was necessary to stop racism and xenophobia against the Japanese-Canadians during the war
After the attack of Pearl Harbor and invasion of Hong Kong, racism against Japanese turned into hatred and violence
Government had to protect the Japanese citizens from violence
Government interned them for their own safety

Racism and Xenophobia
The Chiefs of Staff Committee in Ottawa expressed that the local authorities and police "were concerned less at the possibility of subversive activity by Japanese than at the danger of serious anti-Japanese outbreaks." and suggested the internment of Japanese Canadians to the Cabinet War Committee
Racism and Xenophobia
Racism and Xenophobia
There were many racist politicians such as Tom Reid and Ian Mackenzie
Stated that Japanese Canadians supported Japan during the war and could be a potential threat to Canada
Politicians were able to convince the Canadian citizens
Ian Mackenzie was able to persuade the Prime Minister, Mackenzie King
Japanese-Canadians suffered, but they were still treated as people
Had permission to get money out of their bank accounts
Government kept everything in fair perspective and considered the alternatives before deciding to locate them in camps
Reasonable compared to how other countries treated their enemies
Japanese soldiers tortured and killed innocent civilians when they invaded Hong Kong
On December 1944, They murdered nurses, doctors, and wounded soldiers
Canadians captured in the battle were sent to Japan to work as a slave
Political Point of View
Canadian government had the legal right to move Japanese-Canadians to internment camps (War Measures Act)
This gave government the power to do anything necessary during the war.
Decision made by the government did not violate any laws, therefore the decision can not be considered wrong
Responsibility of Canadian Government
It was important for the government to protect their citizens from any danger
Government has a responsibility to maintain order and safety, so the internment to eliminate the threat was necessary
Protection and safety was more important compared to the internment issue
Canadian government was able to keep Canada safe during the war
Military Necessity / The Spark
Another justification for internment was "military necessity"
Military necessity is the legal concept as part of the justification for attacks on military targets such as civilians.
Caused by the attacks on Pearl Harbor and Hong Kong on December 7, 1941
Following the attacks, Canada declared war on Imperial Japan
Canada believed the attacks were "a threat to the defense and freedom of Canada"
Ideas of action against the Japanese-Canadians began to arise

Works Cited

First Steps of Action
RCMP and Royal Canadian Navy took Japanese-Canadians into custody
Took over 1,200 Japanese-Canadian fishing vessels as an "act of defense"
Canadian Pacific Railway and major hotels / sawmills cut off sections and ports
Proved the beginning of racism against Japanese-Canadians and caused their businesses to fail
The loss in Hong Kong inspired British Columbia to form a "big lie" similar to the Nazis and Jews

Early Discrimination and Action
Government criticized for not taking harsher actions of Japanese-Canadians
Alderman Halford Wilson finally began to take action
Demanded defensive measures and potential expulsion
Organized the Pacific Coast Security League to promote his racist views of the Japanese-Canadians
Mayors of Vancouver Island first brought up the idea of internment
Ideas of internment camps were starting to become a reality

Restrictions of the Japanese-Canadians
January 14, 1942: Cabinet gives in to British Columbia's demands
Their demands caused the Japanese-Canadians to be:
Prohibited from fishing
Denied of shortwave radios
Allowed limited/controlled purchase of gasoline/dynamite
Confiscation of property
In control due to being "enemy aliens" by the Minister of

Removing the Japanese-Canadian Threat
British Columbia pleased with new policies, believing Ottawa now understands the threat of Japanese-Canadians
Many arguments / debates between Japanese-Canadian's loyalty to Canada
British Columbia still in fear due to rumors of attack and sabotage
The threat of the Japanese-Canadians still there
Heavy discussions involving what else to do with the Japanese-Canadians in January - February 1942

The Second Spark / United States Influence
February 19, 1942: President Roosevelt uses Executive Order 9066 to gain the power
Necessary to remove Japanese Americans into Pacific coast states
Roosevelt under pressure and needed support for U.S. to enter a wartime footing
Removed Japanese minority to gain support
Frank Knox reinforced threat of Japanese-Americans
United States interned Hawaii's 160,000 Japanese Americans

The End Result
February 24, 1942: Canada Cabinet and Prime Minister Mackenzie King passes Order-In-Council law similar to Executive Order in the United States
Japanese-Canadians forced to evacuate to internment camps
Affected over 21,000 Japanese-Canadians
Living conditions of internment were poor
Internment camps lacked electricity, plumbing and water
Caused suffering and separation of Japanese-Canadian families
Those who opposed the government arrested and imprisoned
The Cause of Fear & Aggression
At the start of World War II, Japan withdrew from League of Nations, ignored naval ratios and allied with Germany in the Anti-Comintern Pact
Caused fear and uncertainty in Canadians
Canada became especially cautious after Imperial Japan's attacks on Pearl Harbor and Hong Kong
Japanese-Canadians became "enemy aliens" after the attacks
Many debates and arguments on the loyalty of Japanese-Canadians during the war
Many rumors of attack and sabotage on British Columbia caused fear
Prior to World War II, Japanese people had began immigrating to Canada and its industries.
These Japanese-Canadians were creating new businesses, joining the Canadian Forces and employed many jobs
They mostly occupied the fishing industry in British Columbia
Japanese-Canadians worked as pullers in the industry
New law caused Japanese-Canadians to lose their jobs
Japanese-Canadians forced to work on farms / small businesses
Led to tension between white Canadian farmers and Japanese
Sparked the racism and discrimination against them
History Before Fear & Aggression
Conclusion of Argument #2: Military Necessity, Fear and Japanese Aggression
Main justification for internment of Japanese-Canadians is military necessity
Military necessity and laws allowed Canada to do what they wanted against "enemy aliens" which were Japanese-Canadians
The threat of Japan and the demands of British Columbia led to the actions of the Canadian government
Roosevelt's actions against Japanese-Americans finally convinced Canada's Mackenzie King to force Japanese-Canadians into internment camps
The attacks by Japan in World War II caused Canada to realize the dangers and risks of Japanese-Canadians
Japan's aggression instilled fear in Canadians and ultimately led to the fate of the Japanese-Canadians
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