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Japanese Americans During World War II

Japanese Americans During World War II

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Published by Erika
I research paper I wrote for my college history class last spring.
I research paper I wrote for my college history class last spring.

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Published by: Erika on Dec 19, 2012
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Erika April 30, 2012History 
 Japanese Americans During World War II
The attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii is what inspired the U.S. Government to authorize theremoval and incarceration of all people of Japanese ancestry in America. Over 3,500 serviceman werekilled on December 7,1941. On this day, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The U.S then declared war onJapan on December 8, 1941.Along with declaring war, individuals of Japanese ancestry were sent to live in incarcerationcamps without trial or evidence of wrongdoing. Incarceration camps are camps administered by theU.S. War Relocation Authority (WRA) to detain Japanese individuals. Incarceration camps were alsoknown by several names during World War II. The following names are what the incarceration campswere known by: relocation centers, prison camps, and concentration camps. These camps weresurrounded by barbed wired fenced and patrolled by armed guards. The camps would not let thedetained leave without permission. Before the Japanese Americans were sent to the concentrationcamps they were held in temporary camps called assembly centers. Assembly camps were guarded byarmed guards and barbed wire fences. The camps were for the identification of Japanese Americans.Over 110,000 people were sent to these camps, two-thirds of them being U.S. Citizens, over half beingchildren.The War Relocation Authority (WRA) is the U.S. Government agency that was in charge of theincarceration camps for the Japanese Americans from the West Coast who were to be imprisonedduring World War II.Executive Order 9066 is what authorized the mass incarceration of all Japanese Americans fromthe West Coast. It gave permission for the War Department to prescribe military areas from which “anyand all persons may be excluded.” Thus, incarceration camps were born. Signed by President FranklinD. Roosevelt on February 19,1942. Any civilian convicted of violating the military order was also
 
Erika April 30, 2012History punished by Congress. In which Congress substantiated the Executive Order to authorize a prison termand fine for any civilian convicted of violating the military orders. Although Japanese Americans werenot specified in this order, they were the only ones imprisoned as a result of it.In early 1942, the government called the removal of Japanese Americans “evacuation.”Implying that it was done for the protection of Japanese Americans. When in reality, it wasaccomplished by economic greed and racial prejudice. “Mass removal” and “exclusion” are better words used for the event; Japanese Americans were expelled from the West Coast and forbidden toreturn.The dispersal of Japanese Americans to the concentration camps where determined by severalfactors. These factors include citizenship, geography, perceived level of threat, sheer chance, anddegree of cooperation or protest. There were the DOJ camps, the US Army Camps, and WRA camps.The public knew about the ten WRA camps but there were fifty-nine other government facilities toinclude temporary assembly centers, immigration detention stations, federal prisons, and internmentcamps. The people that went to these camps were Italian and German immigrants, Japanese LatinAmericans, Alaskan natives, and Japanese Hawaiians.The first generation Japanese Americans were known as Issei. The Issei were forbidden from becoming naturalized American Citizens by discriminatory law. The Issei were sent to theconcentration camps of the DOJ and the US Army. The Issei had lived in the United States for decadesin which they raised their families here before 1940. Many of the first generations of JapaneseAmericans had no plans to ever return to Japan. These individuals would of become naturalized if given the chance. In 1952 the immigration law was changed in which the Japanese Americans were nolonger viewed as aliens in the United States.Second generation were U.S. citizens that were born to Japanese immigrant parents. The second
 
Erika April 30, 2012Historygeneration Japanese Americans were known as Nisei. Nisei were referred to as non-aliens rather thancitizens by the government. The term “non-aliens” used as a way for the government to avoid the factthat they were U.S. citizens. The Nisei were born generally from 1915 to 1935. The Nisei grew up inrural areas attending both Japanese language schools and public schools. They saw World War II askey turning point in their lives.During April 1942, the WRA realized that sooner or later Japanese Americans will have toreenter society. Which inspired the WRA to create a policy granting short-term or indefinite leave for college or work. But this only implied to nisei and people who could find sponsors. In addition to thethousands of nisei men that enlisted in the military and served in combat.“Loyalty questionnaires” were helped to administer the military draft and work release program.These were two questions that were distributed to ages seventeen and older to Japanese Americans inincarceration camps. The wording and meaning of the questions never really mattered, which broughtconfusion and controversy for the incarcerees, but more on who answered “yes,” and who answered“no.” Those who answered “yes” were determined as “loyal” and made eligible for serving in the U.S.Army. Some were even made eligible for release and resettlement in areas outside of the West Coastexclusion camps. Those who answered “no” were determined as “disloyal” to the United States andtransferred to the incarceration camp Tule Lake, a designated segregation camp. The JapaneseAmericans who refused to take the test, and those who answered negatively, were referred to as “No-no boy.” They were deemed “disloyal” and in return sent to Tule Lake camp.150,000 people of Japanese ancestry who lived in Hawaii were treated as loyal to the UnitedStates by General Delos Emmons. These Japanese Americans were not sent to incarceration camps or removed from Hawaii. It did not matter if they were known as issei or nisei decent. General DelosEmmons refused repeatedly to remove persons of Japanese ancestry from Hawaii, from those who were

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