Japanese Internment: US vs. Canada
As they were forced out of their own homes, uprooted from the land that they had contributed so dearly into making their own, the Japanese found themselves as victims of their own state—Red-flagged for espionage and sabotage in the North American states of Canada and the United States of America (US). These neighboring countries handled the same situation rather differently, and despite the many similarities between Japanese internment in the US and Canada during the World War II (WWII) era, there were many differences as well. The Japanese, in both cases, were discriminated against (prior to WWII), suffered property and financial losses, labored in various occupations, and were awarded reparations. Distinctions can be seen between internment of the Japanese in the US and Canada, in dealing with Japanese property and the cost to stay at these camps, the general attitude towards the Japanese, and the outcome of the Japanese in these respective countries. These internment camps for Japanese Americans and Canadians show racism and discrimination, as most, if not all, of these Japanese were loyal to their country. Initially, there was already discrimination and racism occurring in both Canada and the US preceding the outbreak of war, compelling these nations to react with the execution of relocation and internment of Japanese citizens and aliens. In Canada, the war measures act of 1914 required enemy aliens to register for IDs, of which they must constantly possess. This act also revoked general freedoms for those of Japanese lineage, including their right to bear arms, to read or write in languages other than French and English, to freely leave the country, and to join various movements. While many Asians were migrating to the Western US at the turn of the twentieth century, they faced bigotry in the work environment, forcing many of them to found their own businesses. It didn’t stop there though. The Oriental Exclusion...
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