World War 2 Justified Essay, Research Paper
By the eve of Pearl Harbor, nearly 23,000 people of Japanese descent lived in Canada, principally in British Columbia. Three quarters of these people were Canadian born citizens. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Army, the Canadian government put the War Measures Act in effect and interned all of Canada s Nikkei. Was the Canadian government justified in interning Japanese Canadians during World War II? No, the government was wrong in interning the Nikkei because it was a violation of their human rights and freedoms, it was unlawful, and based on prejudice.
By interning the Nikkei the Canadian Government violated the Japanese Canadians human rights. All people of Japanese origin were finger printed and received number identification. This was a violation of human rights because only criminals received records and were finger printed. Their mail was screened which violated the Nikkei s freedom of privacy. The Japanese Canadians were forced to camps away from costal regains. Men had to work in road camps or other labor camps and women and children where forced to live in ghost town detention camps. These actions violated the Nikkei s rights to life, liberty and freedom. This violation was extreme because it was not only in effect during the war but was used after the war until 1949.
Not only did the government steal the Nikkei s human rights but also their possessions. The Japanese Canadian farms and businesses were confiscated. Everything from houses and boats to clothing was taken without consent and sold at auction. In the United States all peoples of Japanese origin were interned in camps away from costal areas but they did not have their property stolen and sold without permission. The government acted very unlawfully and did commit crimes against all the interned Nikkeis. Further more the Japanese Canadians were helpless, and couldn t defend themselves because the government did this all under the authorization of the War Measures Act. The Canadian Government should not have stolen the Japanese Canadians property and they should have fully compensated them. The Nikkei were only partially compensated and received a formal apology from the Canadian Government for its actions 43 years after the end of the war.
The harsh treatment of the Japanese Canadians by the Canadian government was fueled by prejudice. The Japanese did follow through a vicious attack on Pearle Harbor, which killed thousands of American soldiers and destroyed American ships and planes. The Germans killed thousands of Canadian soldiers on the ground, air, and sea, yet the German Canadians were never as badly treated as the Japanese Canadians. If the Germans had a different skin color they would have been most likely interned as well. The level of racism and prejudice in the public view during that time was very high and was strongly fueled by propaganda. The only reason the government interned the Japanese was because they gave in to public pressure. Prime Minister Mackenzie King didn t believe the Nikkei posed a threat to national security but a majority of the white Canadian population forced him into putting the War Measures Act into affect.
The Canadian Government was wrong in interning the Nikkei because it was a violation of their human rights and freedoms, it was unlawful, and based on prejudice. The government not only treated the Japanese Canadians with such cruelty during the war but they kept the War Measures Act in effect until 1949, to force the Japanese to move out of Canada or return back to Japan.