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Was the U.S. Justified to Put Japanese Americans In Internment Camps?

LedZeppelin1

Expect theUnexpected
As most of you know during WWII the U.S. government forcibly relocated many Japanese Americans and Japanese people living in America during WWII to internment camps to protect against future Japanese attacks on U.S. soil, and also "supposedly" to protect the Japanese Americans themselves from certain war crazed Americans. For those of you who don't know about this is the internment.
Do you think the government had the right to do this, given that it was for security reasons caused by a national threat, even though it was unconstitutional?
 

the jman

Ak47 I choose you!
I have put up an excellent argument on this before, and please dont pull the racist card out on me for this post.


I beleive that It was Just and fair for the Japanese to be put in internment camps. And the Japanese are lucky to. in Japan, the phillipines, and Germany, Americans and allies in these camps were put to extremely hard work, where they were forced to grow and harvest food for Japanese soldiers. They got beat real good if they didnt work. Alot of people died, and went to deathcamps in Germany. The living conditions were horrible, and they barely got a crust of bread for a meal.

Now lets look at America. Japanese had THE RIGHT to Join the US military to get out of concentration camps. They even in most cases had the choice to work on farms, and own them. They got food, they didnt have to work at all. They played games still, and the worst thing they had to do was move and sell all there stuff and in most cases lost there land before they had to leave. HELL, they even had notice.

Now even though there was no crimes FROM ANY JAPANESE PERSON AT ALL during the time, this was alot due to the fact that they were in concetration camps. Im quite sure they grumbled about all it, but they got over it, whereas Many americans died in death camps and were held as POW.

EDIT: MY POINT: here, before you even try to make americans look like biggots and Jerks, and try to get them to "Feel sorry" for there evils, please go to Japan and Germany and the philippines, and make them give an AppleOJ to america, and make THEM feel bad, and pay back for all those lives lost, before you come here. then I may consider showing a bit of pity for the Japanese, maybe.

My sources:6th grade history, 7th grade history, Much self study on WWII.

Ethan plz dont infract me.
 
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Towriss

Banned
The ends justify the means, there was no internal terrorist attacks from the Japanese and it may be b/c of the concentration camps. We'll never know.

Very much so justified.
 

LedZeppelin1

Expect theUnexpected
I do partly agree with the fact that it was justified. We were in a time of national, no, international crisis and the risk of an attack by the Japanese inside of our country could have been very high. We treated them humanely in the camps, even if living conditions weren't like a 5 star hotel. It was for national securities sake, so the wrong in it is outweighed by the right in this case.
 

the jman

Ak47 I choose you!
I do partly agree with the fact that it was justified. We were in a time of national, no, international crisis and the risk of an attack by the Japanese inside of our country could have been very high. We treated them humanely in the camps, even if living conditions weren't like a 5 star hotel. It was for national securities sake, so the wrong in it is outweighed by the right in this case.

the conditions were the same as ghetto peoples homes.. well not that bad.
They had roofs over there heads, and food. mind you not just a crust of bread. BUT, heres a good thing about the japanese. BECAUSE of there attack, (which turned out to backfire alot) America...
a) got out of the depression
b) Got lots more Jobs
c) united further into a nation, and Hawaii Joined us, which I guess is good.
 

BigLutz

Banned
I don't think there is a easy answer for this, if something like this were to happen by today's standards, rounding up American citizens and throwing them into a camp with no real crime other than their ethnicity. We would be rightly horrified.

But World War 2 was a different time, the United States was in a war for its very survival and enemy agents dressing up and going behind enemy lines was more than common in European theater. And of course unlike the European Theater, the Pacific one was going very badly for a long time.

Legally and Constitutionally even morally you have a argument to say we shouldn't have done it. But we had no way to keep track of them like we did today, and we know today Japan had a want to attack the US Mainland with Biological and Nuclear weapons. Having a couple of willing agents already in the US, being able to use a bomb in a inland US city or even worse on our nation's capital. Well we would now be asking "Why didnt we do more"
 

J.T.

ಠ_ಠ
I don't know, would we be justified in doing the same thing to all Muslims?

Think about it. The majority of terrorists who have attacked the U.S. and its troops are Muslims, so therefore that must mean they're all threats, and we must violate the rights of every single Muslim in America to protect us from the few who actually might be terrorists! After all, we all know every Muslim supports the actions of the militant terrorists, right? Just like how every Japanese American supported the action of the Japanese government!

End sarcasm.

I beleive that It was Just and fair for the Japanese to be put in internment camps. And the Japanese are lucky to.

Yes, how lucky to be forced into a cramped internment camp against their will.

Japanese had THE RIGHT to Join the US military to get out of concentration camps.

So those who had problems with the war in general were just plain screwed, right?

They even in most cases had the choice to work on farms, and own them. They got food, they didnt have to work at all. They played games still,

They were still forced there against their will. Whether or not they were treated well is irrelevant when they were given no choice in whether or not they went to the camps at all.

and the worst thing they had to do was move and sell all there stuff and in most cases lost there land before they had to leave.

I love how you act like that's not a big deal.

HELL, they even had notice.

Okay, so if they tell you ahead of time that you're being kicked off your land and shoved into an internment camp, it's all cool.

Now even though there was no crimes FROM ANY JAPANESE PERSON AT ALL during the time,

Also love how you seem to think this helps your case.

Now, let's assume there were a few crimes from some Japanese Americans. That still would not justify imprisoning over a hundred thousand innocents just because they MIGHT commit a crime. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't your justice system revolve around the whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing?

this was alot due to the fact that they were in concetration camps.

Not every Japanese in the country was placed in the camps. Only about 120,000 Japanese Americans were placed in the camps. By comparison, there were almost 150,000 in Hawaii alone who were not forced into the camps. There were almost assuredly more who were not interned. When the government only gets less than half the Japanese in the country and the larger, "free" population doesn't do any sort of crime, I'd think it would make you stop and think for a minute.

Im quite sure they grumbled about all it, but they got over it,

No, you grumble about having to clean your room or do some sort of menial chore. You do something more significant when something like this happens.

whereas Many americans died in death camps and were held as POW.

Okay, let's stoop to their level, that'll help our case.
 

Ethan

Banned
I think its understandable, and I can emphathize with the people that made the decision when taking into acount the time they were in. I don't think it was right however. jman is right in saying that it wasn't an inhumanitarian atrocity like anything in Europe, but it still had its base in prejudice. It would be different if it were just people that immigrated from Japan, but it was based on their lineage. Its understandable, but its still not cool.
 

the jman

Ak47 I choose you!
@ethan, My point being proven

@ JT: yes, lets point out the bad things americans did in my post, and not the bad things the Japanese did.
 

BigLutz

Banned
I don't know, would we be justified in doing the same thing to all Muslims?

Think about it. The majority of terrorists who have attacked the U.S. and its troops are Muslims, so therefore that must mean they're all threats, and we must violate the rights of every single Muslim in America to protect us from the few who actually might be terrorists! After all, we all know every Muslim supports the actions of the militant terrorists, right? Just like how every Japanese American supported the action of the Japanese government!

End sarcasm.

Do we not do the same thing to muslims already? Mind you in the 1940s you couldn't easily wiretap a phone line, and they did not have computers to monitor. It was much harder to trace outgoing calls to other countries and such. We can do things now that they were unable to do in the 1940s but is it all that different? We don't throw them into camps but if you are making calls to Syria or remote areas of Pakistan the US Government is going to listen in on it. If you go to Jihadists websites the US Government is going to track your computer, and we probably did it even more in the months and early years after 9/11. Most of the steps we take now to prevent another terrorist attack cannot be seen, and obviously we are not throwing people into camps. But the same intent is there: Protecting the country by monitoring those that could be working with the enemy.
 
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zenzai

Sweet and Delicious
No. I do not believe it was justified in the slightest. Saying that putting the Japanese into internment camps was justified is extremely similar to saying that putting all persons of Afghani descent into internment camps after 9/11 would've been justified.

NO.

These people were (for the most part) American citizens - the same as those who chose to place them in the camps in the first place. Sure their country of ethnic origin attacked the States, but many of these people were second-generation (sometimes third) and identified far more with the United States than Japan.

By singling out these people in camps, the government essentially legitimized racism against them. Most of them had committed no crimes against the United States. Most of them had not involved in the planning of any crimes against the United States. However, because of their treatment, I wouldn't have been surprised if many had been disgusted with America. Instead, a significant segment of the JA population chose to help out in the war effort (in translation, and as they did in the 442nd and the 100th Battalion, quite famously).

Many (if not all? I don't recall which.) of those who were interned during the war were given the option to move (or return, in the case of first-gen immigrants) to Japan after the war was over. However, very few of them did so.

Many of those that chose to remain in America were forced to rebuild their lives. The internees were only allowed to bring one or two suitcases a person to the internment camps. Everything else – cars, real estate, houses, everything – they either had to liquidate or have liquidated. Because the time window between notification and internment was short, many internees got ripped off when selling their possessions.

Some others, who entrusted their property to "friends" to hold on to until the end of war, never got their property back when they came out of internment. After all, these internees had no legal claim to what had been their own property, any more.

By the way, Hawai'i (which was the state that got attacked, was closest (with the exception of Alaska) /arguably most accessible to Japan, and had the largest Japanese-immigrant/Japanese-American population) saw the least amount of Japanese internment. And guess what? While there were some kookies who rooted for Japan to win the war, there was not a single act of JA sabotage of the American military (or American war effort in general) during the war.

So was the paranoia that led to the mass internment of Japanese immigrants and JAs during WWII unreasonable? I'd say yes. Was the internment racist? Yes, again – both in conception and in effect.

That said, I completely agree with the statement that the Holocaust was – by FAR – worse. Incomparably so.
 
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the jman

Ak47 I choose you!
No. I do not believe it was justified in the slightest. Saying that putting the Japanese into internment camps was justified is extremely similar to saying that putting all persons of Afghani descent into internment camps after 9/11 would've been justified..
FAR FAR from it. this is rediculous. for
1.Afghinstan didnt do it, it was muslim terrorists
2.Japan put us into internment camps. and in there view, was it Justified? Hell yeah it was. but from our view, was it Justified for us to put them in camps? because of yours views, NO

These people were (for the most part) American citizens - the same as those who chose to place them in the camps in the first place. Sure their country of ethnic origin attacked the States, but many of these people were second-generation (sometimes third) and identified far more with the United States than Japan.
this being true, there were still spies, and people loyal to the home country. im sorry If I sound like a biggot, but this just needed to happen, FOR ALL JAPANESE. we were VERY leniant on them

By singling out these people in camps, the government essentially legitimized racism against them. Most of them had committed no crimes against the United States. Most of them had not involved in the planning of any crimes against the United States. However, because of their treatment, I wouldn't have been surprised if many had been disgusted with America.
Dont even play the racist card. unless, your going to place it FAR worse on Japan and Germany and the phillipines."Slap a Jap" was the only racist thing there was out there. Because of there treatment? why the hell should they be disgusted?? they got food, and not just bread. THEY didnt have to work in fields, or get beaten or tortured. they didnt have to do nothing. most of them played games, and had a good time.

Many (if not all? I don't recall which.) of those who were interned during the war were given the option to move (or return, in the case of first-gen immigrants) to Japan after the war was over. However, very few of them did so.
Because they wanted to stay in the great country of america, and didnt want to get beaten in Japan for being a traitor. smart poeple

Many of those that chose to remain in America were forced to rebuild their lives. The internees were only allowed to bring one or two suitcases a person to the internment camps. Everything else – cars, real estate, houses, everything – they either had to liquidate or have liquidated. Because the time window between notification and internment was short, many internees got ripped off when selling their possessions.
Blame Japan, not America. this is also part of thats pretty much the only pity I ever really gave to the Japanese. but hey, chinese people gotten treated worse still, before the war, even though america didnt ever fight them. but looking at a buyers point of view, THIS IS GOLDEN. buying houses pennies for the dollar, making lots of money merching, buying and re-selling, this is like bill gates handing out millions free.

Some others, who entrusted their property to "friends" to hold on to until the end of war, never got their property back when they came out of internment. After all, these internees had no legal claim to what had been their own property, any more.
Again, only pity I shed.
By the way, Hawai'i (which was the state that got attacked, was closest (with the exception of Alaska) /arguably most accessible to Japan, and had the largest Japanese-immigrant/Japanese-American population) saw the least amount of Japanese internment. And guess what? While there were some kookies who rooted for Japan to win the war, there was not a single act of JA sabotage of the American military (or American war effort in general) during the war.
Due to the fact that Japan could terrorize Japan more for the fact that there would be tons of support if there was mass amounts of Japanese left there.

So was the paranoia that led to the mass internment of Japanese immigrants and JAs during WWII unreasonable? I'd say yes. Was the internment racist? Yes, again – both in conception and in effect.

That said, I completely agree with the statement that the Holocaust was – by FAR – worse. Incomparably so.
It wasnt racist, it was fair. At least its better than the president issuing a command to rape/kill/ steal from the japanese at there own pleasure without getting in trouble. I mean, Thats what hitler did to the Jews
 

Icup

Well-Known Member
I think its understandable, and I can emphathize with the people that made the decision when taking into acount the time they were in. I don't think it was right however. jman is right in saying that it wasn't an inhumanitarian atrocity like anything in Europe, but it still had its base in prejudice. It would be different if it were just people that immigrated from Japan, but it was based on their lineage. Its understandable, but its still not cool.

This is the only way it can be justified..but I honestly think that they should have approached the issue in a different manner. Also what Jman was saying about that the Japanese were not put in an inhumane condition doesn't mean that it loosens the gravity of the issue that the government of America has violated the rights of thousands of his people.

It wasnt racist, it was fair.

Fair? Is it fair for a American Japanese man is imprisoned because his native country is in a war with his new country? What about the American of Japanese decent that has never seen Japan and that shares the same values as every other American is it fair for him to be imprisoned because of his ethnic background? This is CLEARLY racism because the people that have been imprisoned we're put there because of their ethnic background not because of their beliefs and political views.

And PLEASE get your definition of what fair is straight and same goes for racism.

Other countries did worse.

Even if other countries have committed worse..it doesn't mean that the US can commit an act of that sort even if it's conditions that are "acceptable". And IF another country has committed an action exactly like what the Americans have done..you lot would be saying it's immoral and you would have never done it.
 

CSolarstorm

New spicy version
Late in 1940, US Intelligence broke Japan's top-level diplomatic code, "MAGIC" allowing the government to read all communications at will. This book reproduces scores of these translated cables, so we can see exactly what FDR knew what he was doing (...) it turns out that Japanese officials in America were busy recruiting (...) even second generation American citizens--into their "intelligence web". Thousands of them were involved, principally on the West Coast.

I really, really, really hate to say it, but jman speaks an ounce of truth. The round up wasn't based on racism or paranoia, it was a general attempt, though a racially insensitive one, to corral an inssurrection within the West Coast of the United States.

It did violate the people's Constitution, and it was a horrible injustice to those Japanese-Americans who were oblivious or impartial to the war effort on either side and did indeed want peace. How many times, over, and over has the consititution been violated in the cause of war? It wasn't the first and it won't be the last time.
 

the jman

Ak47 I choose you!
I really, really, really hate to say it, but jman speaks an ounce of truth. .

they all do.

The only reason why people are saying this is racially insensitive (EVEN THOUGH IT HAS NOTHING TO DO ABOUT RACISM) is because we did this to a minority that ISNT WHITE. they did this stuff to white people, but was that racailly insensitive? no
 

the jman

Ak47 I choose you!
I really, really, really hate to say it, but jman speaks an ounce of truth. .

they all do.

The only reason why people are saying this is racially insensitive (EVEN THOUGH IT HAS NOTHING TO DO ABOUT RACISM) is because we did this to a minority that ISNT WHITE. they did this stuff to white people, but was that racailly insensitive? no
 

denizenofevil

Well-Known Member
I cannot agree with putting the Japanese Americans in internment camps. Saying other countries did worse is not an excuse. That's like saying, "they ripped out all his toenails and fingernails. we only ripped out his toenails." It's still horrible. We are Americans. If you have any ounce of patriotism in you, you should hold the US to a higher standard.
Sure, we didn't have any uprisings but does the benefit outweight the costs or is the other way around. Most of the Japanese Americans weren't criminals. They were loyal to the US. There may have been a few Japanese supporters but was it worth putting all of them in the camps? Wouldn't it have been easier to deal with the few? If you think it was okay for them to do that, do you think it's okay to put all the Muslims in camps? I should hope not. The US forced the Japanese to give up everything. They had to literally put their lives on hold. It is easy to say that the end justifies the means because you couldn't possibly understand the suffering the prisoners had to go through. I've interviewed a few Japanese former prisoners myself, for a school project. Lives were ruined and for what?

Seriously, what would you do if the government decided your ethnicity was a threat and put all of you in camps? I'm of Chinese descent, born in the United States and I consider myself an American. I tried to enlist in the military to serve my country. Could you personally say to my face that I deserve to be in an internment camp should we go to war with China?
 
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zenzai

Sweet and Delicious
FAR FAR from it. this is rediculous. for
1.Afghinstan didnt do it, it was muslim terrorists
2.Japan put us into internment camps. and in there view, was it Justified? Hell yeah it was. but from our view, was it Justified for us to put them in camps? because of yours views, NO
Right. Muslim terrorists from Afghanistan (in the case of Osama's faction, at least). I would wager that most Afghanis aren't terrorists. However, that's just the kind of equation you're making when you equate a Japanese American with a Japanese soldier.
...the vast majority of Americans (and British) Japan put into camps were POWs. Also, Japanese Americans are NOT the same as Japanese! They're AMERICANS of Japanese ANCESTRY.

this being true, there were still spies, and people loyal to the home country. im sorry If I sound like a biggot, but this just needed to happen, FOR ALL JAPANESE. we were VERY leniant on them
How the hell are they spies? Most Japanese immigrants and JAs were not loyal to what you call "their home country." Many hadn't even set foot in Japan. Little to none of them were even in Japan during Japan's phase of increasing militarization.
And yes, I'd say that you do sound like a bigot. Punishing an Japanese American for something a completely unrelated Japanese person has done is like going around hitting all the women you can find just because one blew you off.

Dont even play the racist card. unless, your going to place it FAR worse on Japan and Germany and the phillipines."Slap a Jap" was the only racist thing there was out there. Because of there treatment? why the hell should they be disgusted?? they got food, and not just bread. THEY didnt have to work in fields, or get beaten or tortured. they didnt have to do nothing. most of them played games, and had a good time.
>_< Please read what you're responding to! When it placed the Japanese Americans into internment camps, the government basically said "Regardless of who they are, what they've done, and how innocent they may be, these people are bad just for being of Japanese descent. We're discriminating against them, so you can/should, too!" This is definitely racism-legitimizing behavior.

Also, arguing that they didn't have to work in the fields and weren't beaten by their guards does not mean that life in internment camps was fine and dandy. They were prisoners! They were kept behind barbed wire for crimes they had never committed! They were deprived of freedom! The lives that they'd been living were taken away from them! Making the most of a bad situation, "playing games," trying to encourage each other, trying to set up some form of schooling so that children wouldn't be held back after the internment ended doesn't mean that internment was good! Those are the actions of people struggling to regain some sense of normalcy in a situation they neither predicted nor deserved!

Because they wanted to stay in the great country of america, and didnt want to get beaten in Japan for being a traitor. smart poeple
No. It's because America is the only home most of them ever knew. Many of the Nisei had never set foot in Japan. A significant proportion of them didn't know Japanese, either. It's like telling an American of Swedish ancestry to move to Sweden, when they've been born and raised in the States.

Also, America took control of Japan after WWII. I doubt the small bunch that actually chose to repatriate would've been beaten by Japanese there as traitors. The Japanese people as a whole were discontent after WWII when they realized how empty war promises and updates from the government were, and how their empire-building was destined to fail.

Blame Japan, not America. this is also part of thats pretty much the only pity I ever really gave to the Japanese. but hey, chinese people gotten treated worse still, before the war, even though america didnt ever fight them. but looking at a buyers point of view, THIS IS GOLDEN. buying houses pennies for the dollar, making lots of money merching, buying and re-selling, this is like bill gates handing out millions free.
It's not handing out stuff for free. It's having stuff taken away against your will. Capitalizing on theft is not something I believe is morally justifiable.
Also, excusing someone's suffering by saying someone else suffered worse is highly problematic. It's like saying: It's okay to beat your children if you were beaten as a child yourself! Since other people's children suffer more, it's ok to make you suffer traumatizing experiences as well!


Due to the fact that Japan could terrorize Japan more for the fact that there would be tons of support if there was mass amounts of Japanese left there.
You didn't even read what I said there, judging from your response. VERY few Japanese were interned in Hawai'i. Even the governor of Hawai'i at the time agreed that it was completely unnecessary to round up individuals of Japanese ancestry. The few who did end up in camps were generally rounded up on an individual basis based on either their leadership role in this or that community (Priests, etc.), or some sort of individually determined grounds for suspicion, and persons who volunteered to weather the camps out with relatives on the Mainland.

In easier to understand terms: Hawai'i had the most Americans of Japanese ancestry. An extremely tiny amount of these people (especially to those rounded up on the mainland) were interned. However, chaos did not erupt, and the Japanese Americans there did not terrorize anyone else.

Well, with the exception of one Nisei who encountered a Japanese pilot after he crash-landed, and tried to control Ni'ihau (one of the most sparsely populated islands of Hawai'i. It's privately owned, and only persons of Hawai'ian ancestry (who are related to persons of Hawai'ian ancestry already there, I believe) are allowed to live there, as it a place where a pre-Western contact way of Hawai'ian life is preserved.). Note, however, that this is the only example of a JA helping out Japanese imperial interests that I have found in my research on the subject, and did not shake the faith of even the highest elected official in Hawai'i in the loyalty of Hawai'i's JA population to America. The Nisei and his act were shunned by the rest of the JA community, obviously, and treated as a freak act of crazy.

It wasnt racist, it was fair. At least its better than the president issuing a command to rape/kill/ steal from the japanese at there own pleasure without getting in trouble. I mean, Thats what hitler did to the Jews

Equating Japanese Americans with Japan itself is inherently flawed. The people who were interned had nothing to do with the war or the attack on Pearl Harbor. If that's the logic you're taking, then why weren't the German-Americans also put into an internment camp? Quick answer: they were white.

As I stated earlier, the 100th and 442nd battalions (both all Nisei) proved their loyalty to America time and time again, even in the face of racism and even though they were sent on many missions that were almost downright suicidal. If the Japanese Americans were all spies for the Japanese, why the hell would they do that?!
 
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