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The Japanese Internment
Wars though-out history have sprung suspicions upon one group of people or another. The Japanese-Canadians internment in Canada during World War 2 for being suspected spies was one of these cases. Was the internment of Japanese-Canadians justified? No, this internment of Japanese-Canadians was unjustified. The Japanese-Canadians were being punished for a crime they did not commit, and Canada’s only defense was the Japanese-Canadians were not white and there was a little chance that they could be Japanese Spies. Innocent Japanese Canadians were stripped of their rights, became subject to harassment, thrown behind barbwire fence, and forced to do manual labor.
The first reason of the Japanese internment was unjustified is the legal and physical rights of the Japanese-Canadians. They were all Canadian citizens and they had the rights that any other Canadian citizen would have received. More than half of the Japanese-Canadians that were interned people who’s mothers and father, grandmother and grandfathers were of Japanese decent but they themselves were born in Canada. Since they were born to Canada they were automatically given Canadian Citizenship. As Canadians they had every right to their physical freedom. But they were not given this right, but instead it was stripped. These were Canadian citizens that had done nothing wrong in any way. They had shown no sign of supporting Japan, but were interned anyway for the actions of Japan. They were interned on the suspicions of others. But they were mostly interned on the prejudice against the Japanese more than anything else. As true Canadian citizens they had not only had the right to freedom but they also had the right to clean water, good and nutritious food, and the right to a good place to live. The Japanese-Canadians were stripped of this right as well. When the Japanese-Canadians were interned they were given dirty, unclean water, very little food, and the cabins they were forced to live in were in horrible condition. They had poor insulation, no heat, no running water and were small, cramped and cold. This also falls under the right to freedom. This right to freedom gives them this right to food, water and good living conditions which they were obviously also stripped of.
The second point and reason why the internment of Japanese-Canadians was unjustified is the suffering that the Japanese-Canadians went through. When the decision to intern the Japanese-Canadians was made, it was made on the agreement that one of them might be a spy for Japan. This was fair enough and not too bad of a crime because it was possible. However the things the Canadian government forced the Japanese-Canadians to have to live with and though was not. When the Japanese-Canadians were taken from the British Columbia’s coast they were being taken away from everything that they had known as home in the past. The Canadian government took all their worldly possessions from them. They were soon auctioned off to the public for next to nothing, often starting at around 5 dollars per item. The government did all this without the permission of the Japanese-Canadians. The Japanese-Canadians recieved none of the money gained from any of the auctions on their possessions. Many of these possessions were family heirlooms that had great sentimental value for the Japanese-Canadians. The suffering for the Japanese- Canadians did not end there. Many families were split apart and separated from each other. So many Japanese-Canadian families went to work on beet farms in Alberta or Manitoba because there the families were allowed to stay together. But for the Japanese-Canadians who went to the internment camps it was a nightmare. The families were often separated. Women and children were separated from the men. They were all forced to live in poorly built and insulated cabins with almost no heat. They had very little good food and even less clean water. Their incomes were greatly hours at the internment camps for almost nothing. They had jobs here and there but the majority of them worked building a railway. The Japanese-Canadians on the beet farms were not fairing much better, but their families were allowed to stay together but it was an extremely hard life on these farms. Every family member had to work long tiring hours on the farm. These Japanese-Canadians
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