The Japanese Canadian Question: WWII - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Japanese Canadian Question: WWII


Title: Internment of Japanese Canadians Author: jenn-lea Last modified by: Adrienne Chong Created Date: 4/19/2011 5:06:42 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Japanese Canadian Question: WWII

The Japanese Canadian Question WWII
Japanese Aggression
  • Japanese expansion in East Asia began in 1931
    with the invasion of Manchuria and continued in
    1937 with a brutal attack on China.
  • On February 24th, 1933, Japan stuns the world and
    withdraws from the League of Nations.

With Japan becoming increasingly aggressive in
the Pacific such as occupying Indonesia, parts of
China, the Philippines, Malaya, Burma, and
Singapore, anti- Japanese sentiments are
increasing around the world
(No Transcript)
The Tripartite Pact
  • On September 27, 1940, Japan signed the
    Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy, thus
    entering the military alliance known as the

Embargo Against Japan
  • the United States, Britain and the Netherlands
    froze all Japanese financial assets. The effect
    was to prevent Japan from purchasing oil, which
    would, in time, cripple its army and make its
    navy and air force completely useless.

Canadian Sentiment
  • At the outbreak of the World War II in 1939, the
    population of British Columbia included around
    21,000 Canadians of Japanese origin, 75 of whom
    had residence rights.
  • Common belief held was that the Japanese are
    unable to assimilate into Canadian society as
    easily as those of European heritage.
  • Prime Minister Mackenzie King himself expressed a
    belief in the extreme difficulty of assimilating
    Japanese persons in Canada

Japanese Bomb Pearl Harbour!
  • December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt declares it
    The Day of Infamy.

(No Transcript)
The Battle of Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas Day 1941.
  • Of the 1,975 Canadians, 290 were killed and 493
    wounded. A further 260 died in the awful
    conditions of prison camps in Hong Kong and

Do we need proof?
  • Japanese submarines are known to have been
    operating off the coast of British Columbia
  • Although RCMP and Canadian military evaluations
    suggested no imminent threat by Japanese
    Canadians, this assessment is not universally
    accepted, as there exists no guarantee of the
    loyalty, or passivity of Japanese-Canadians.  

What should be done?
  • Resentment against Japanese Canadians exploded
    into panic and anger in British Columbia.
  • 1,200 fishing boats were seized by the Canadian
    navy in fear of spying
  • The war offered a convenient excuse for Canadians
    to address the Japanese Canadian question.

  • 1. Students will form groups of 5. Each person
    will then be designated a letter (A, B, C, D or
    E) which represents a specific profile. 2.
    Students will read their designated profile and
    then return to their group.
  • 3. There will be a town hall meeting (ie. Each
    table) in which students will present their
    profile and address the question Due to the
    increasing suspicions of the Japanese Canadians
    and following Canadas declaration of war on
    Japan, what should be done with the Japanese
    Canadians living in British Columbia?

The Canadian War Measures Act
  • 1914 gave the government sweeping powers to
    ensure the security, defence, peace, order, and
    welfare of Canada.
  • Used to imprison CANADIANS of German, Ukrainian,
    and Slavic descent in WWI.
  • 1939- War Measures Act invoked- this allowed for
    the internment of enemy aliens

Take a stand. what is more important
  • National Security
  • Individual Rights

keeping in mind that people make decisions based
on what they know at the time!
Japanese Internment in Canada
The movement of 23,000 Japanese Canadians
during the war was the largest mass exodus in
Canadian history.
Internment Timeline
  • 1941 (December 8) 1,200 Japanese Canadian
    fishing boats are impounded. Japanese language
    newspapers and schools close.
  • 1942 (January 16) Removal begins of Japanese
    immigrant males from coastal areas.
  • 1942 (February 24) All male Japanese Canadian
    citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 ordered to
    be removed from 100-mile-wide zone along the
    coast of British Columbia.
  • 1942 (February 26) Mass evacuation of Japanese
    Canadians begins. Some given only 24 hours
    notice. Cars, cameras and radios confiscated for
    protective measures. Curfew imposed.
  • 1942 (March 4) Japanese Canadians ordered to
    turn over property and belongings to Custodian of
    Enemy Alien Property as a protective measure
    only. Eventually these assets were sold and
    proceeds used to pay for the interment
  • 1942 (March 25) British Columbia Security
    Commission initiates scheme of forcing men to
    road camps and women and children to ghost town
    detention camps.

Conditions in the Camps
  • Housed in huts with two bedrooms and a kitchen
  • shared by two families
  • No electricity or running water until 1943

Camp Conditions continued
  • Hundreds of women and children were squeezed into
    livestock buildings
  • Slept on beds covered in straw for comfort
  • Conditions were so poor that food packages were
    sent from Japan through the Canadian Red Cross to
    those suffering in the camps

End of the War
  • In 1945, the government extended the Order in
    Council to force the Japanese Canadians to go to
    Japan and lose their Canadian citizenship, or
    move to eastern Canada.
  • Even though the war was over, it was illegal for
    Japanese Canadians to return to Vancouver until
  • Public protest would eventually stop the
    deportations, but not before 4000 Japanese left
    the country.

  • Watch David Suzuki- Internment Camp (2
  • Watch CBC News Apology to Japanese Canadians
    (4 min)
  • http//

Acknowledging Wartime Wrongs
  • Forty-three years after the end of the war, Prime
    minister Brian Mulroney acknowledged the wrong
    doings of the Canadian government and announced
    the awarding of 21,000 for each individual
    directly wronged.
  • Is this an acceptable redress to the issue?

  • In pairs, examine QUESTION 2 on the following
    worksheet http//
    /history/history/debatingissues_ww2.html . With
    your partner, identify which arguments are for
    the Yes side and No side.
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