Japanese internment

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Dan
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Japanese internment

Post by Dan » 21 Mar 2004 14:31

http://www.amconmag.com/2004_03_15/article.html

I guess this is the forum for this thread. I had a neighbor who was interned during the war because he was Japanese, and from his stories my view of this episode may have been overly negative. But this interesting article shows that there probably was a justification for what happened. There were hundreds of Japanese spies, and we knew about them, but we couldn't let the Japanese government know we knew about them, otherwise they'd know we broke their code. It was like Churchill taking the decision to let Coventry be bombed without notifying the population. The solution was to force all Japanese away from where they could pass on valuable intellegence to off shore boats, etc..

It turns out the camps were almost voluntary, with the government paying for college educations, and the people being allowed to go whereever they wanted to as long as it wasn't in California or parts of the West Coast.

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Eden Zhang
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Post by Eden Zhang » 22 Mar 2004 07:45

I had always thought that all the Japanese people interned in the camps were completey innocent.

But I'm not too knowledgable on the topic.

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1812
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Post by 1812 » 22 Mar 2004 21:39

I am sure most of them were innocent. Sure there were spies, they were at war after all. But why didnt they intern Germans or Italians who lived in the states.

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Post by Apocalypse_Now » 23 Mar 2004 01:52

Yes there may have been spies, but that is not a justification to intern people based on race. I'm sure there are Al Qaeda terrorist sleeper cells all over the world, would it be justified to intern Muslim's? No.

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John W
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Post by John W » 23 Mar 2004 04:05

Heinz VanNoon wrote:would it be justified to intern Muslim's? No.
Unfortunately, according to what I've heard from some people, that isn't too bad an idea. :|

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Post by 82airborne » 23 Mar 2004 05:32

John W wrote:
Heinz VanNoon wrote:would it be justified to intern Muslim's? No.
Unfortunately, according to what I've heard from some people, that isn't too bad an idea. :|
It's a bad idea no matter how people try and justify it. German/Italian-American civilians didn't receive 1/10th the bad treatment that Japanese-americans did. The Nissei here were just as American as everyone else. Matter of fact the 442nd regiment was comprised of 99% Japanese-american volunteers that fought, died, and were a highly decorated regiment of WW2 with presidential honors.

In a nation of immigrants such as the U.S. this type of suspicion and prejudice only creates longterm ill will. Socially it goes against everything America is founded on.

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Post by James McBride » 23 Mar 2004 06:46

82airborne wrote:
John W wrote:
Heinz VanNoon wrote:would it be justified to intern Muslim's? No.
Unfortunately, according to what I've heard from some people, that isn't too bad an idea. :|
It's a bad idea no matter how people try and justify it. German/Italian-American civilians didn't receive 1/10th the bad treatment that Japanese-americans did. The Nissei here were just as American as everyone else. Matter of fact the 442nd regiment was comprised of 99% Japanese-american volunteers that fought, died, and were a highly decorated regiment of WW2 with presidential honors.

In a nation of immigrants such as the U.S. this type of suspicion and prejudice only creates longterm ill will. Socially it goes against everything America is founded on.
Racism played its part, but the fact that it was Japan that snuck attack, not Germany or Italy, played its part as well. And Germans and Italians weren't accepted in America at first as well. It has always taken America time to digest new immigrants (can't think of a better word), and Japanese had been Americans for much less time.

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John W
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Post by John W » 23 Mar 2004 07:08

82airborne wrote:
John W wrote:
Heinz VanNoon wrote:would it be justified to intern Muslim's? No.
Unfortunately, according to what I've heard from some people, that isn't too bad an idea. :|
It's a bad idea no matter how people try and justify it. German/Italian-American civilians didn't receive 1/10th the bad treatment that Japanese-americans did. The Nissei here were just as American as everyone else. Matter of fact the 442nd regiment was comprised of 99% Japanese-american volunteers that fought, died, and were a highly decorated regiment of WW2 with presidential honors.

In a nation of immigrants such as the U.S. this type of suspicion and prejudice only creates longterm ill will. Socially it goes against everything America is founded on.
I agree. All I'm saying is that from many people I have heard from, they seem to think it's a great idea. :|

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Post by mikerock » 23 Mar 2004 07:55

The internment here on the West Coast of Canada is one of the darkest parts of Canada's history. Unlike in the States, there was no reason to suspect treason from the Japanese population here. I have seen reports from the RCMP stating that they were one of the most law-abiding segements of society. However, because the Japanese were a visible minority, and thier parent country at the time an enemy, they were rounded up and sent into the interior of British Columbia. Most of the Japanese people living here had not even been born in Japan! They had their property confiscated and sold - without compensation until the 1990s - and were confined to, for lack of any other way to describe them, concentration camps. Joy Kogawa wrote an excellent book called "Obasan" about her experiences during that period here in Vancouver.

--Mike

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Post by 82airborne » 23 Mar 2004 09:40

James McBride wrote:Racism played its part, but the fact that it was Japan that snuck attack, not Germany or Italy, played its part as well. And Germans and Italians weren't accepted in America at first as well. It has always taken America time to digest new immigrants (can't think of a better word), and Japanese had been Americans for much less time.
Personally I don't view Germany or Italy's part any better or worse than Japan's because it was only a matter of time before the U.S. was going to become actively involved anyhow. Taking it out on ethnic citizens of your own country is exercising racial collective responsibility. We all know where that leads in the end..

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Chadwick
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Post by Chadwick » 23 Mar 2004 23:29

82'nd airborne I agree w/ you 100%. The Japanese living in U.S. at the time were much smaller than German or Italian Americans hence an easier target to punish. Face it if the U.S. would have interred German and Italian Americans or descendents of immigrants from these countries many of the U.S. armed forces recruits would have been lost. Even if Germany or Italy would have attacked U.S. like Japan IMHO you still would not have seen internments of immigrants from these countries. I found a good web site dealing w/ this topic: http://www.janm.org/nrc/internch.html regards -- chadwick

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Post by fknorr » 26 Mar 2004 05:03

Chadwick wrote:Face it if the U.S. would have interred German and Italian Americans or descendents of immigrants from these countries many of the U.S. armed forces recruits would have been lost.
Chadwick, you know that German, Italian, Romanian, etc Americans WERE interned, right?

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Post by David Thompson » 26 Mar 2004 07:34

During WWII, in addition to the Japanese-Americans, the US detained German, Italian, Rumanian, Hungarian, and Bulgarian nationals, and an assortment of US citizens and other foreign nationals suspected of jeopardizing national security. There is an FBI overview of the custodial detention program in pdf format at:

http://foia.fbi.gov/custodet.htm

There is also a reasonably well-informed discussion of this subject at:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=15305

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Stu-hun
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Heh

Post by Stu-hun » 26 Mar 2004 07:59

Sometimes you have to take drastic measures for drastic issues. I don't think the Average American would have complained if the "Japs" or "nips" were put in camps, as there was paranoia going around at the time, and besides, people were rasict anyway. Citizens back then were much more radical in their views, and must have been glad the "undesireables" in their community were going to camps. Anyway Its over and done with, so lets hope it doesn' t happen again 'till WW3. This topic should not be under war crimes as it was national defence tactics, even though it was a bit over the top.

Here's a famous quote Patton said to his troops in England before they went to France-

Patton: "Those Purple pissing japs"
Can't say that anymore :lol:

Regards,

Stu

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Chadwick
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Post by Chadwick » 27 Mar 2004 10:03

correct they were interned, but not in the same numbers as Japanese Americans and I would be surprised if they were kept in the same conditions as many of the Japanese-American camps.

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