Japanese Internment Camps
Although Japanese Internment Camps were seen as a necessary evil to protect Americans, they were grossly unfair to the vast majority of the Japanese people who would never have engaged in sabotage or spying for Japan during World War 2 . The bottom line was the necessity of security. During the beginning of World War II, around 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them citizens of the United States were sent to Internment camps (Aitkens 2). They were stripped of their assets and forced to relocate to desolate areas by the American government. Many would stay in these areas for around three years, under watch at all times with barbed wires disconnecting them from the rest of the country. During this time, racial prejudice and fear took over the balance between American citizen rights. Japanese Americans suffered a great deal during this time over the injustice of the American government and it took years to finally insure their rights from the Constitution. Japanese Immigration first started in the state of Hawaii in the Nineteenth Century (Daws 1). At that time, Hawaii was still a U.S. territory but groups of Japanese people started to migrate to this location. Nevertheless, there was still hostility over race. Many restrictive laws were set up to limit the rights of those Japanese. Many of them moved along the west coast to get jobs and start families. Japanese success over business and farming started to grow some envy and prejudice (Alonso 16). Mainly in California, Anti- Japanese Sentiment was seen. During the years in 1900-1920, more Japanese started to settle in the west coast of the United States. As their success grew, so did the racial hostility. Anti-Japanese propaganda and stereotypes started to appear more often and campaigns were issued into laws to deny much Japanese citizenship and land ownership (Alonso 15). Relations between Japan and America were strained as well. Japan did not like America’s involvement in Asian affairs. Even though the countries would meet often before World War 2, peaceful settlements could not be found through their differences (Alonso 18). On December 7 1941, the Japanese attacked the United States of America at Pearl Harbor. Before this, America was anticipating War with both Japan and Germany. Japan was attempting to spread their domination towards Malaya and the Dutch East Indies to seek access to natural resources such as oil and rubber. America was a way to get through this (Daws 2). Therefore, both nations knew war was a possibility. Still, this attack though was a shock to the United States. It planted a notion in many American’s minds of Japanese treachery. The hysteria of this action also left the American president in a tough spot. After this attack, many officials and American citizens felt the need to separate the Japanese citizens; they called out for the removal of Japanese-American citizens. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Military Commander John L. Dewitt were sucked into pressure and agreed to it (Alonso 24). President Roosevelt proceeded to sign the Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. The Executive Order did not directly conclude to remove Japanese Americans but said that in times of need. It would direct the war department to “prescribe military areas…from which any and all persons may be included” (Kennedy 753). Although America was also at war with Germany and Italy, the government did not think that they should be sent to camps for the rest of the war. The process began with all Japanese Americans, Alien or citizen, going through registration. This would occur all throughout the spring of 1942. Americans began to insist on the removal of all people with Japanese ancestry. They started to first take away Japanese aliens on December 7 1941; these were people who seemed to most likely be spies (Estes 1). After a little more time passed, the removal of all Japanese started to take place. The Japanese Americans were...
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