Discussion Topic

The impact of World War II on Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians

Summary:

World War II had a profound impact on Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians, leading to widespread internment and loss of property. Both groups faced intense discrimination, forced relocation to internment camps, and the confiscation of their homes and businesses. This period marked a significant violation of civil rights, deeply affecting their communities and leaving long-lasting scars.

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What happened to Japanese Canadians during WWII?

During WWII, Canadians of Japanese ancestry living along the Pacific coast were interned.  They were forcibly removed from their homes and were essentially confined in camps.  They were allowed to work in low-wage positions that lacked manpower.  In addition, their property was confiscated and was later auctioned off at less than market value.

The internment was done because of fears that the Japanese-Canadians would in some way help Japan's war effort.  The internment zone extended 100 miles inland from the sea.  In early 1945, the internees were given the choice of being moved to Eastern Canada (after being released) or of being returned to Japan after the war ended.

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What happened to Japanese-Americans during World War Two and why?

Two months after Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7th, 1941, President Theodore Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. It led to the internment of more than 100,000 West Coast Japanese-Americans for the duration of the war.

Fearing that these Issei (first-generation Japanese-Americans) and Nisei (second-generation Japanese-Americans) would pose security risks, the United States government took measures to sequester them in ten remote camps in the Midwest. Prior to leaving, many Issei and Nisei had to sell their belongings and homes off at outrageously low prices; this was the only way they could recoup some of the financial losses they incurred from adhering to Roosevelt's special order. Meanwhile, Japanese-Americans in Hawaii were spared internment because wealthy landowners needed their Japanese employees to work the sugar and pineapple plantations.

The people who profited the most from the internment of Japanese-Americans were white business owners. The forced internment removed successful Nisei businessmen from the economic scene; it bequeathed substantial competitive advantages to whites. Issei like Fred Korematsu challenged Roosevelt's executive order, but the Supreme Court ruled that the president was well within his right to protect the nation during a time of war.

The internment ended in January 1945. Many Japanese-Americans experienced grave emotional upheaval and financial challenges in the process of re-assimilating into American society. In 1948, the American government attempted to right the wrongs to Japanese-Americans by paying out $37 million in reparations. However, it wasn't until 1988 that legislation was approved to pay out an additional $20, 000 to survivors and efforts were made to formally apologize to the Japanese-Americans for their forced internment.

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What were the effects of WWII on Japanese Americans?

I would say that distrust was the major effect on Japanese Americans during the Second World War.  The idea of forced relocation, suspension of individual rights, as well as the notion of being forced to take a "loyalty oath" seems to come right out of the Fascist Playbook and not representative of a great democracy.  The liberation of death camps in Europe, the defeat of the Nazis, as well as the crushing of the Fascist dictators that threatened freedom in Europe all had to be weighed against the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II.  In the end, such an assessment reveals the sometimes vast divide between the principles of America and its practices.

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What were the effects of WWII on Japanese Americans?

The major impact of World War II on Japanese Americans was, of course, the internment of the Japanese Americans living on the West Coast.  The internment disrupted their lives for years and it cost many of them a great deal of money.  This was because they lost personal property that they had to leave behind when they were sent to the camps.

In a related effect, this ended up spreading the Japanese American population away from the coasts after the war.  There came to be many Japanese families who ended up living in places inland after the interment was over.

Japanese Americans were also affected because many of them fought in the war, but this is no different from the experience of other groups.

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