The tension between the United States and Japan was very evident during the era of World War II, but were the actions that were done fully justifiable?
The tension and hatred between the two counties all stated out with the bombing at Pearl Harbor, a large naval base in Hawaii. This could have part of the justification for the various, what some people may consider torturous, lifestyles that Japanese Americans were forced to experience and live in. Another large event, that was not directly correlated to the United States, but in China Japan’s army invaded Manchuria and killed over six million Chinese over a total of eight years.
All of these horrific events also led up to horrific scenes in the United States. There was a definite dislike for Asian Immigrants in the United States following those scenarios. There were laws put into place that segregated those of Asian descent from those of other nationalities. Many types of racial slurs and insults were being used at this time that created stereotypes and other ‘racial’ characteristics. The worst of the worst was most likely the internment camps that were set up by the United States. These camps forced the removal of Japanese immigrants and also Japanese Americans from their homes and into camps where they were held under armed guard.
The living conditions in these camps were not as bad as what the Jews were facing in Nazi Germany, but it was basically a smaller version of that. Entire families were kept in very small rooms just to ensure that they were not going to do anything wrong. The US enforced these camps irrationally and basically out of fear for their nation. They knew what Japan was capable of, and thought that anyone and everyone from Japan had the same intentions, which wasn’t true. Just because of what Japan did, it then meant that all of these American citizens who had some sort of Japanese descent or ethnicity were being revoked of their American rights. They had the same rights as everyone else at that time, but they were being snatched from them just due to what their old homeland did. “As the tide of the war began to turn in America’s favor, the justification for interning people of Japanese descent weakened. “ (Keene 699)
If I was in that same type of situation just because of my ethnicity or descent, I would be outraged because I personally did not do anything wrong. I would have moved to the United States to get away from that type of living, not bring it with me. I can understand the imprisonment if there was a connection from one of the Japanese Americans and Japan with following actions in the war, but a majority of the time that was not evident. These immigrants were just trying to live their everyday life in the home of the free. They were set into a prison for no justifiable reason besides that the place where they originated from, may even a few decades back, made a mistake.
Keene, Jennifer D. Visions of America, 3rd Edition. Pearson, 20160311. VitalBook file.