December 7, 1941—Japan attacks Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, United States of America. Japanese forces also invade Hong Kong, Malaysia and surrounding areas, opening up the Pacific Front of the Second World War.
December 8, 1941—Canada invokes the War Measures Act and declares Japanese-Canadians and recent immigrants as enemy aliens to strip them of individual and property rights. Over 1,200 fishing boats owned by Japanese-Canadian fishermen are confiscated off the coast of British Columbia as a defensive measure against Japan’s war efforts on the Pacific Front.
Fishermen’s Reserve rounding up six Japanese-Canadian fishing vessels, British Columbia (MIKAN 3191747)
January 14, 1942—Canada orders the round up of Japanese-Canadian males aged 18–45 for relocation to the interior of British Columbia. Personal property, such as homes and cars are seized and sold to help pay for the camps. No one can have radios, buy gasoline, or fish during the war. People detained after the 14th are sent to internment camps in Alberta.
Japanese-Canadian men load a train travelling to camps in the interior of British Columbia (MIKAN 3193863)
February 24, 1942—Whole-scale internment of people of Japanese descent starts. In total, 21,000 Japanese-Canadians and recent immigrants become internees at camps. Restrictions on rights and freedoms increase as the war drags on.
Japanese-Canadians load into the back of trucks for relocation to camps in the interior of British Columbia (MIKAN 3193859)
September 2, 1945 to April 1, 1949—After the end of the Second World War in 1945, Japanese-Canadians are forced to remain at internment camps, or areas away from Canada’s coastal regions until 1949. There are some offers by the Canadian Government to repatriate individuals and families back to Japan, along with some exemptions on movement. Eventually all restrictions on movement are lifted. Japanese-Canadians can return to the coastal areas of British Columbia. No compensation is available for property seized or for forced internment.
Japanese-Canadians buy supplies at the internment camp store, Slocan City, British Columbia (MIKAN 3193855)
September 22, 1988—Thirty-nine years of lobbying by Japanese-Canadians affected by the actions enforced under the War Measures Act during the Second World War result in an official apology and compensation package for families from the Canadian Government.
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