The Humane Conditions of the United States’ Japanese Internment Camps

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In response to the attack on Pearl Harbor, Canadian and American governments took extreme actions to prevent possible Japanese attacks, first and foremost are the internment camps. Japanese internment camps housed Japanese US and non-US citizens from 1942-1945. The economic and social factors surrounding the camps were unprecedented. The United States managed the affair with somewhat of a dignified perspective while Canada on the other hand fully implemented dispossession, discrimination, but ignored a redress of any sort. In contrast to the United States, Canada completely exploited the Japaneses’ economic resources. Shortly before their evacuation to the camps the “to-be-interned” Japanese would quickly sell some or all of their personal possessions whether to the government or other white civilian buyers. Under the War Measures Act of 1943, the Japanese were required to pay taxes for every sold item which would later be auctioned; their land and other properties, if not sold, were immediately confiscated. Later, the property was resold to white Canadians and never returned. “Dispossession of Canadian citizens, was contrary to British principles of justice and to the Atlantic Charter,” announced Dr. Henry F. Angus, in opposition to Japanese internment. He demonstrates that even then were there individuals that recognized the unjustness of the camps. The taxes aforementioned were used for the payment of government employees and also to fund the internment camps and pay businessmen who took over maritime industries normally monopolized by Japanese. The United States was responsible for confiscating some private properties, but not nearly the amount of which Canada was responsible. The Canadians took economic advantage of the camps to their fullest extent. In Canada the social conditions of the Japanese internment camps were different from the Unites States camps which had the necessities such as food, shelter, and water. The ten Japanese internment...
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