Previously published in Examiner
Part 13 of the Japanese Internment Series
Mackenzie King once again incited the fear of Japanese onto the British Columbia constitutes, this was probably campaign propaganda in an election year. Yet, he had previously stated in August 1944 that, “it is a fact no person of Japanese race born in Canada has been charged with any act of sabotage or disloyalty during the years at war”.Japanese Canadian Centennial Project.1877-1977 the Japanese Canadians a Dream of Riches.Vancouver: Gilchnist Wright,1978..
The Repatriatism Law
King passed the Repatriatism Law which stated that if Japanese people did not leave British Columbia they could be deported to Japan even if they were not born there. It was quite apparent that Canadian treatment and thinking about Japanese people were in line with the feeling of their American neighbours.
Though Canada and America share a common border and a common heritage, sometimes sharing a common goal or philosophy does more harm than it does good.
Some Japanese people decided to move to other parts of Canada to avoid the victimization, however they were still singled out. They were not allowed to own land; they could only lease land. They could grow crops but they needed special licenses to do so.
Could growing a potato be an act of terrorism? In either case this type of action is a form of genocide; meaning in this case the complete oppression of a people.
Some Japanese actually signed papers stating they would leave Canada after the war ended. As stated previously there were 22,000 Japanese incarcerated in interment camps and before the end of the war, 4,000 of them were deported to Japan and stripped of the Canadian citizenship and an additional 6,000 were sent to Japan after the war had ended.
These Japanese Canadian in affect were sent to a foreign country. Though the shared the ancestry these Japanese Canadians were not born in Japan, they knew nothing of that country other than the stories their parents told them about.
Japanese women at least had their husbands, but they had to put a family raged by the atrocities of war and hysteria together in a strange land.
Japanese Canadians were interned during that second world war days, also German and Italian Canadian political activists. Adrien Arcand was a Montreal Journalist and fascist who campaigned from 1929 until his death in 1967 who was also interned. He appointed himself the Canadian führer.