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The case against Japanese Canadians, the ‘enemy aliens’

The Story

The Japanese are unlike us in physical structure, speak another language, and cherish traditions that are wholly dissimilar to ours, says John M. Ewing, psychology instructor at the B.C. Provincial Normal School in this CBC Radio commentary. Ewing argues that they are a group apart and will never assimilate into Canadian society. Moreover, they are beyond the scope of biological modification. The solution? Japanese Canadians must be "repatriated" back to Japan, he argues.

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News Special
Broadcast Date: May 25, 1944
Commentator: John M. Ewing
Duration: 15:04
Photo: National Archives – C046350

Did You know?

• In 1945, Japanese Canadians over the age of 16 had to report to the RCMP. They were given the option of being "repatriated" back to Japan or they could prove their "loyalty to Canada" by moving east of the Rockies. By the end of 1946, close to 4,000 evacuees had immigrated to Japan.

• Over 10,000 evacuees had signed repatriation forms but later withdrew their application. Orders-in-council were passed which empowered the government to evaluate the loyalty of the Japanese Canadians, and order their deportation where they saw fit. Those who agreed to move to eastern Canada were deemed loyal. In January 1947, the orders-in-council were repealed following an outcry from the media, academics, and the churches.

• Many Japanese Canadians felt that the term "repatriation" was a euphemism for what was actually "deportation." Since most Japanese Canadians were born in Canada and had never been to Japan, they felt they could not be "repatriated" to a land to which they held no allegiance.
• As the repatriation campaign entered full swing in Canada in 1945, the Americans began to release evacuees from their camps. These Americans were allowed to return to their homes along the Pacific coast.


Relocation to Redress: The Internment of the Japanese Canadians more