The United States' Treatment of Japanese Americans During World War II

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On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed the Executive Order 9066 allowing the military to exclude “any and all persons” from designated areas of the country as needed for national defense. These “any and all persons” were Japanese Americans, 2/3 citizens and 1/3 aliens, and the designated area was the West Coast of the United States. The Executive Order to place the Japanese living in the United States into internment camps was deemed necessary due to the recent attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, by Japan.
The United States government gave several justifications, both military and constituently for the decision of the camps. However, not all of the Japanese Americans took the order in stride. There was resistance by …show more content…

With so many Japanese Americans living in one area, fears of sabotage and espionage fueled of feeding Japanese war machines. In addition, the military feared sabotage of military and civilian facilities, even the water supply in California was a potential target. In January 1942, the war department reported, “on the Pacific, not a single ship had sailed form our Pacific ports without being subsequently attached.”
Before the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941, the United States citizens and government was concerned about the alliance of Japan with Nazi Germany. It became patriotic to challenge the loyally of Japanese Americans. There were even “scare headlines” in newspapers describing invasions and acts of espionage that had never taken place that reflected the fear on the West Coast and in Hawaii. There was hysteria of the United States citizens and some of the Japanese Americans resisted the new government policy.
Some Japanese Americans rejected the new American policies through rebellion and renouncing their American citizenships. Under the voluntary relocation policy, the Japanese Americans were free to go anywhere outside the exclusion zone on their own dime. However, a nightly curfew was one of the first mass restrictions in March 1942. For example, Minoru Yasui, a young attorney, became the first Japanese American to challenge the curfew orders by trying to get himself arrested by breaking curfew. Mitsuye

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