Essay On Japanese Internment

1710 Words 7 Pages

Japanese Internment
James Stewart

Japanese Internment
Many Japanese-Americans in America were relocated to relocation centers during the Second World War following the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941. West Coast politicians called for the relocation of the Japanese American citizens from the places that were considered crucial for the United States defense. Once they were removed from their homes, the US government sent them to the camps in the West (Fox, 1988 & Shaffer, 1999). Which factors contributed to Japanese internment and how was the experience in the camps? The purpose of this manuscript is to explore the factors associated with the Japanese internment and its connection with racial discrimination and
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Immediately after the attack, anyone suspected to have ties to Japan was arrested and taken to assembly and relocation centers. They were given a short notice that forced them to abandon their businesses and homes and move to relocation camps that were in remote areas. Two-thirds of the Japanese interned were American citizens from West Coast. In 1942 February General John DeWitt, the commander of the West Coast military ordered the relocation of all the Japanese-Americans from the West Coast on racial grounds to internment camps. Japanese race was seen as a threat to the security of US. Immediately after the Japanese Americans were ordered to leave their homes, they were first taken to the assembly centers in remote areas. Later Japanese Americans were taken to internment camps where they were under the military confinement. Some people opposed the government decision and made efforts to protect the civil rights of the Japanese Americans in the relocation camps. The fight against the internment was among African American activists, white liberals, and religious …show more content…
According to Shaffer (1999), race and discrimination played a crucial role in the internment of Japanese. The internment was not motivated by national security needs but rather by racism against Japanese Americans that existed in the US. The public schools in West Coast, and American Christians who had worked with Japanese Americans believed that the practice of racism highly influenced the decision to intern Japanese. The racism and hatred manifested itself in the discriminatory legislation against the Japanese Americans. The Pearl Harbor attack was not the main cause for Japanese American internment (Legal Information Institute, 1944). The attack intensified anti-Japanese discrimination that as there even before the attack such as economy envy and racial discrimination. In 1906 discrimination against the Japanese American was evident in the school systems where the students with Japanese ancestry in San Francisco were segregated. It was after the Japanese government protest that Japanese American students were treated as equal. Furthermore, there was law in California that prevented Japanese Americans from owning land. The law was intended to undermine their ability of the hardworking and skillful Japanese immigrants from participating in agriculture. The racial prejudice in California against individuals with Japanese ancestry became

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