Japanese Internment

Powerful Essays
Every now and then we do horrible things without any justification in order to protect ourselves. However, we must recognize that it is our duty to apologize for our mistakes and to help those who we have hurt. After the attacks committed by the Japanese army on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Canada and the United States felt very threatened. The two countries were unsure about what the enemy was planning, and they wanted to protect their citizens from any future attacks. As a result of this, the Canadian government started to view their Japanese citizens as a threat to national security. As the war progressed, the government eventually decided to confine all Japanese-Canadians to British Columbia until the fighting was over. The Japanese had no choice …show more content…
S.T Wood, a Canadian commission’s officer often wrote to government officials about the innocence of the Japanese immigrants. In one of his letters, he stated; “We have had no evidence of espionage or sabotage among the Japanese in British Columbia.” However, the Canadian government still presumed that the Japanese-Canadians were guilty, even though 75% of them were Canadian-born. The only reason why the Japanese-Canadians were viewed as a threat was because of the country they emigrated from. In spite of that, there was a large anti-Japanese sentiment throughout Canada long before the war had commenced. This negative sentiment was a direct result of propaganda that was spread throughout the country by the government. The spreading of these lies had helped form a cultural bias against the Japanese-Canadians, which allowed people to automatically assume the worst in the Japanese race. This bias did affect people’s judgement of the Japanese-Canadians, however it is no excuse for the things they were forced to endure. Not only that, but the Japanese-Canadians were the only race of immigrants coming from enemy countries who …show more content…
In most of the places where the internees were forced to reside, there was no privacy or access to sanitary equipment. The lack of running water and sanitary provisions in the camps resulted in a high risk for disease and viruses to be spread. In most camps, the interned medical professionals were responsible for running healthcare centers, however they almost never received any of the supplies they needed to help the sick. Due to the shortage of necessary materials and products to help the ill, thousands of prisoners died from common viruses and diseases while interned. If the internees were allowed to live somewhere more humane, then perhaps these deaths would have never occurred. Not only were the housing situations in the internment camps cruel, the living conditions were so horrible that the Red Cross had to intervene. Mary Tsukamoto, a surviving internee explained her experience at one of the camps by saying the following:
“We saw all these people behind the fence, looking out, hanging onto the wire, and looking out because they were anxious to know who was coming in. But I will never forget the shocking feeling that human beings were behind this fence like animals. And we were going to also lose our freedom and walk inside of that gate and find ourselves…cooped up there…when the gates were shut, we knew that we had lost something

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