Investigation into these elements as well as records of public opinion withheld before and after the attack will determine if ignorance towards and favorable opinions of the Japanese were influenced solely by the government. B: Summary of Evidence On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy led an attack on the United States Naval Base in Pearl Harbor Hawaii. The same day US Attorney General Francis Biddle directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to arrest any suspected enemy aliens, and by the end of the day 737 Japanese civilians were arrested without trial. On December 8, the United States declared war on Japan and was brought into World War Two. Following the attack a great fear of more attacks by the Japanese swept over United States citizens.
“The Japanese race is an enemy race,” General John DeWitt, head of the Western Defense Command wrote in February 1942. “And while many second and third generation Japanese born in the United States soil, possessed of United States citizenship, have become ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted” (quoted in Smith, 1995: 83). On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Executive Order 9066. The Order declared that “the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national defense material, national defense premises, and national defense utilities.” In pursuit of this goal, the Secretary of War, or the military commander whom he might designate, was authorized “to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he…may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary…or the Military Commander may impose in his discretion.” The Secretary was also authorized “to provide for residents of any such areas who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary…until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order” (see Appendix 1). Though the Order seems to be in violation of the Constitution at the time, the Supreme Court upheld it because of “military necessity.” “There was evidence of disloyalty on the part of some [Japanese Americans], the military authorities considered that the need for action was great, and time was short.
The argument for the opposing viewpoint states that these relocation centers were needed to ensure U.S. security during the war against Japan. A major contributor to these internment camps was the bombing at Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, the republic of Japan attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The government feared attacks by “imperial Japanese forces” and a sabotage by Japanese Americans (The Japanese Internment: World War II). In addition, the U.S. military saw the Nikkei, Japanese immigrants, as a “potential security risk” and worried that the Nikkei would provide “sensitive information” to the Japanese government and/or subvert U.S. government (The Japanese Internment: World War II).
EBSCOhost. 3 May 2004. Web. 7 April 2010. Randall, Vernelia R. “Internment of Japanese Americans in Concentration Camps.” Race, Racism and American Law.
Throughout The Rape of Nanking, the brutal massacre of thousands of innocent Chinese citizens is brought forth through the invasion of this ancient city taken over by the Imperial Japanese army. Iris Chang illustrates the graphic details of the murder and rape of these victims through the perspectives of different sides of the attack. Chang; furthermore, ties in the mass genocide and destruction displayed throughout the book with the example of the Japanese government’s desperate attempt to cover up the incident and the reluctance of the survivors to discuss it. In addition, the horrifying events of The Rape of Nanking only further motivated an uncontrollable desire for aggression, violence, and imperialism in the Asian community evidently leading to the impending destruction caused by World War II. Due to the brutality of the crimes committed in this time frame, many people still to this day stray away from the discussion of The Rape of Nanking.
Ienaga, Saburō. The Pacific War, 1931-1945: A Critical Perspective on Japan's Role in World War II. New York: Pantheon, 1978. Print. Lord, Walter.
Web. 16 Feb. 2012. "The War Relocation Authority and The Incarceration of Japanese-Americans During World War II: 1948." Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. National Archives and Records Administration.