Was Japanese-American Relocation a Military Necessity?

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Was Japanese-American relocation a military necessity? In the 1940s the United States displayed an unconstitutional act of discrimination. On December 7, 1941 the Japanese infiltrated a naval base, instilling fear into the American minds. After the Japanese caught the Americans by surprise in an attack, the American people were lead to believe that the Japanese were tricky, inscrutable, deceitful and treacherous people (Japanese Relocation: A Loaded Weapon). There were reports that some Japanese people were spying and developing a plan to sabotage the West Coast, however none of these claims were ever proven (Powell, page 135). The United States government became increasingly paranoid about this new problem and demanded action. On Thursday, February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued the Executive Order 9066, which called for mass evacuation of Japanese Americans on the west coast with the excuse of a “military necessity,” and that the Japanese “loyalties were unknown.” (Powell, page 132). Efforts were made to limit espionage or sabotage by the Japanese for national security. The government’s quick implementation of Executive Order 9066 in reaction to the public’s panic, not only was unconstitutional and violated Japanese American rights, but also resulted in needless effort and attention towards the internment camps, making this an act of racism, not a military necessity. The United States government did not hold the right to intern Japanese Americans because of their ethnic background. People argued that the Japanese immigrants in the United States posed as a threat but fact is, 127,100 Japanese-Americans, about two thirds of whom were American born citizens, were evacuated (Powell). The Japanese-Americans had the same rights as any other American citizen, yet they were still interned. The public went straight to the conclusion that all people of

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