Japanese Internment Camps Facts

Japanese Internment Camps Facts
During World War II more than 127,000 Japanese-American citizens were imprisoned at internment camps in the United States. Their only crime was that they had Japanese ancestry and they were suspected of being loyal to their homeland of Japan. The fear was that if the Japanese invaded the west coast of America, where there was a large Japanese population, that they would be loyal to Japan instead of the United States. Popular opinion and bad advice led President Roosevelt to sign an executive order (Executive Order 9066) in 1942 that forced all Japanese-Americans to concentration camps in America's interior. The majority of those sent to the internment camps had been born in the United States.
Interesting Japanese Internment Camps Facts:
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor helped to fuel the anti-Japanese sentiment that led the Roosevelt's executive order.
More than 66% of the Japanese-Americans sent to the internment camps in the spring of 1942 were born in the United States and many had never been to Japan.
Japanese-Americans are also known as ‘Nisei' in North and South America and Australia, which is a term that means children born to Japanese people.
Because the camps were not yet completed when Roosevelt signed the executive order, the Japanese prisoners were held in temporary shelters such as stables in racetracks.
The orders to evacuate were posted in Japanese-American communities. Many of those affected by the orders sold their land, homes, and businesses for a fraction of what they were worth because they did not know if they would be able to return or if they would still be there when they returned.
Japanese-American World War I veterans that served for the United States were also sent to the internment camps.
There were 10 Japanese internment camps in the United States located in remote areas in seven western U.S. states including California, Idaho, Utah, Arkansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Arizona.
The internment camps had tarpaper barracks for housing, mess halls and schools. The adults were allowed to work if they chose for $5 per day.
The camps were located in areas that made farming difficult and the prisoners ate a lot of army grub-style food.
It was often too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter making life very difficult and uncomfortable.
The U.S. Army eventually decided to allow the prisoners to leave the camps if they joined the U.S. Army but only 1,200 took the option.
President Roosevelt rescinded the order in 1944, two years after signing it.
The last Japanese internment camp in the United States was closed in 1945.
Canada also sent almost 23,000 Japanese-Canadians to internment camps in British Columbia.
5,766 Nisei prisoners renounced their American citizenship because they were sent to the internment camps. They were legal American citizens and even the courts had denied them their rights as such.
It wasn't until 1968, almost 24 years after the camps had been closed that the U.S. government decided to make reparations to those who had lost property due to their imprisonment.
In 1988 surviving prisoners were awarded $20,000. Only 60,000 prisoners of the internment camps were still alive.
Today, the four largest populations in the world of Japanese emigrants and descendants of Japanese live in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Peru.


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