The Public Opinion Of The Japanese American Internment During World War Two:

1965 words - 8 pages

A: Plan of Investigation
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 led President Roosevelt to issue Executive order 9066. The order called for war time relocation of Japanese Americans into internment camps without trial. With what justification can it be claimed that the general public opinion in favor of the Japanese American evacuation and internment camps was solely due to the United States government? The role of the United States government will be defined as: accounts of withholding evidence, the use of media, and decisions made by the justice system. 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. Executive Order 9066 was issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. This gave authority to the Secretary of War Lieutenant General DeWitt, and military commanders to evacuate any persons from designated areas for “protection against sabotage and against espionage”.
Persons who outwardly opposed the evacuation were almost nonexistent, and those who did oppose were often vilified. One member of this opposing minority, J. Edgar Hoover, claimed that “the FBI and the United States Government were more than capable of handling the small number of actual suspected saboteurs. A ten page report assigned by the FBI titled Report on Japanese Question by Commander Kenneth B. Ringle was submitted to the Naval Operations on January 26, 1942. This Report concluded that “less than three percent of the total, or about 3500 in the United States,” of Japanese citizens would act as saboteurs. However the report failed to be presented to the public.
From March 2 to 27 of 1942, congress issued public proclamations and civilian exclusion orders for all Americans of Japanese descent. Continuing until September of 1942, people living in designated areas that were of Japanese descent, U.S. citizens or not, were moved by federal order to War Relocation centers. By June 1, 1942, over 100,000 Japanese had been moved from their communities into internment camps. Then on December 17, 1943, the acting commander of Western defense, Major General Henry C. Pratt, issued Proclamation No. 21, which restored the right of evacuees to return to their homes. However, the proclamation would not be put...

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