Japanese American internment
Japanese American Internment
The Japanese migrated from their homeland due to political and economic forces, the economic opportunity, and industrial development which existed in the US. Japanese American internment took place during the World War II when there were fears of national security in the US. The American citizens, as well as the government, wondered if the Japanese loyalty lied on Japan or the US. Besides this, the Japanese Americans were a target of racial prejudice over a decade, and hence more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry living in the US were rounded up by the heavy military guard and sent to camps fenced with barbed wire. They were imprisoned in the camps for three years (1942-1943) until the US government ensured that Japan was no longer a threat (Heinrichs, 2011). The imprisonment was as a result of wartime proclamation from President Franklin D Roosevelt that was made shortly after the Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan in December 1941 (Ng, 2010).
The Supreme Court in 1944 found that the issue on appeal of defying an exclusion order by Korematsu was constitutional. Though the court did not rule on matters such as incarceration it made a decision on exclusion orders and their legitimacy. The Japanese Americans, in 1980 put pressure on the then-president Jimmy Carter to give a solution on whether the steps to close the Japanese Americans in an internment camp was right. A commission was appointed to look into the issue and they gave a report named “Personal Justice Denied”. This report concluded that the Japanese were not disloyal and the steps taken to put them under incarceration were not justified and could only have been caused by racism Brian, (2014).
President Ronald Reagan, in 1988 then passed a law, the Civil Liberties Act to ensure all the Japanese Americans affected were all compensated with $20,000 each. The US government then apologized to the victims for the atrocities they faced and admitted that the actions were as a result of racism and poor governance Kashima, (2014).
Nash, Gary B., Julie Roy Jeffrey, John R. Howe, Peter J. Frederick, Allen F. Davis, Allan M. Winkler, Charlene Mires, and Carla GardinaPestana. The American People, Concise Edition Creating a Nation and a Society, Combined Volume (6th Edition). New York: Longman, 2007
Kashima, Tetsuden, “Custodial detention / A-B-C list,” Densho Encyclopedia, 2014.
Niiya, Brian. “Kenneth Ringle,” Densho Encyclopedia., Retrieved August 14, 2014.
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