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).
People argued that it was acceptable because the Japanese immigrants in the United States posed a threat, but in reality, “more than two-thirds of the Japanese who were interned in the spring of 1942 were citizens of the United States” (Ross). The Nikkei had the same rights as any American born citizen, yet they were interned. The public concluded that all people of Japanese ancestry were saboteurs, heightening racial prejudices. Furthermore, the accusation of disloyalty among Japanese Americans prompted the state department to send Agent Curtis B. Munson to investigate this matter among the Japanese Americans; leading to his conclusion that, “there is no Japanese problem on the west coast…a rem... ... middle of paper ... ...tional Historic Site. nps.com.
As soon as America heard these words from the president it sent war hysteria into the heart of the people, especially on the west coast. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which permitted the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense (Children of the Camps 1). The orders led to the relocation of 112,000 Japanese Americans along the west coast of the United States (Friends of Minidoka - Twin Falls' Early Nikkei Community 1). The relocation process was confusing, frustrating and frightening. Japanese Americans were required to register and receive identification numbers (Japanese American Internment During World War II 1).
2014. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/causes-american-civil-war.htm "Causes of the American Civil War." Causes of the American Civil War. History Learning Site, n.d. Web. 12 Apr.
Before the war there was slight tension towards Japanese people, but during and after the war the tension greatly increased. There was nothing negative about the majority of the Japanese people, the only problem was that the United States citizens and the government were unsure where the Japanese people took a stance as far as the war. One publication stated, “They are merely a group of American residents who happen to have Japanese ancestors and who happened to be living in a potential combat zone shortly after the outbreak of war” (Seattle). Most Japanese passively handled the treatment they received from the government. There were only a few racially based cases made against the United States government.
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 internment of Japanese Americans during WWII was a clear example of mass hysteria that permeated the United States during the dark days of WWII. After the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor many Americans believed that the Japanese were disloyal and were associated with the enemy. There were rumors that the Japanese Americans were exchanging military information and had hidden connections. The U.S became increasingly paranoid causing a question to arise, is this really because the Japanese were truly spies or is it mass hysteria? In the process of war the public skipped to the conclusion that all Japanese Americans were out to get them.