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Political Apologies and Reparations Document List Details

Ottawa Will Pay Compensation to Uprooted Japanese-Canadians

Author: John F. Burns
Source: New York Times (Link)
Date: 23 September 1988
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Document Type: Press
Donor: Canada Event Date: ca. 1942-1949
Recipient: Japanese-Canadians Reparation Date: 22 September 1988

Following Canada's official declaration of war against Japan in December 1941, the Canadian government, using the War Measures Act, forcibly relocated Japanese emigrants and Canadians of Japanese descent from British Columbia to internment camps throughout Canada. Living conditions in the internment camps were extremely poor, and families were often separated, with men being sent to work in factories and women and children sent to camps in inland British Columbia. In addition to the hardships of imprisonment, which lasted in many cases until 1949, four years after Japan's surrender, during this period, property belonging to Japanese-Canadians was confiscated.


In addition to the formal apology from the government, nearly $400 million (CAD) was distributed to Japanese-Canadians in compensation for their imprisonment and property loss. This included: $21,000 (CAD) each to survivors of the camps; $24 million (CAD) to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation; and $12 million (CAD) to a community fund. Additionally, citizenship was re-instated to Japanese-Canadians who had been forcibly repatriated, and criminal records related to violations of the War Measures Act were cleared.


The Canadian Government agreed today to pay the equivalent of $17,325 (US) in compensation to each of about 12,000 surviving Japanese-Canadians who were forcibly uprooted from their homes in British Columbia, interned and deprived of their property in World War II.


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