Previously published in Examiner
Part 12 of Japanese Internment Series
Japanese Canadians and their part as soldiers during World War II
Needless to say that during World War II, the Japanese were no longer able to join the army, which is ironic because fighting for Canada would show their loyalty for their new country.
Since the British Columbia Government would not allow Japanese into the army the young Japanese decided to fight for Britain against Japan.
These Young Canadian Japanese (Nisei) would become corporals with the British Pioneer Corps. A big debate in parliament ensued, and it was decided that it was forbidden for Canadians to go to war in British uniforms.
What happened next
The Japanese Canadians could not fight for Canada and now they couldn’t fight for Britain. So how did the Canadian government resolve this issue?
The Canadian government relented. They allowed the Nisei to fight for Canada and wear the Canadian uniform, however, they were demoted from corporals to privates in the Canadian Intelligence division.
Total Violation of Human Rights
The injustice of the 1943 liquidation of Japanese property, including houses, clothing, and worldly goods was atrocious and a complete violation of human rights. Everything was auctioned off and the realtors and auctioneers benefited from the sale. Japanese people got nothing.
Furthermore, the Japanese had to pay for their incarceration in the internment camps. While their wives and children remained behind. The government was not concerned about their welfare whatsoever. Even the prisoners of war (POW’s) did not have to pay for their incarceration. They were protected under the Geneva convention. The Canadian government only paid one quarter of what the American government did for the upkeep of their internment camps. Incarcerated Japanese had to pay their own keep in a place they did not want to be in the first place.
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.