The Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association (GVJCCA) calls for a stop to the backlash against Syrian refugees who are trying to escape violence in their country.
We find it very disturbing to hear some American politicians suggesting mass internment is necessary. Japanese Canadians have a sick feeling of déjà vu, because in 1942, we too were incarcerated. Using the War Measures Act, our government targeted Canadians of Japanese ancestry as “enemy aliens,” stripped them of their rights, and sent them to internment camps. There was no evidence of wrongdoing, and no consideration of the loyalty of Japanese Canadians, including First World War veterans and those who had been in B.C. since the 1800s.
We urge our government and Canadian citizens to withstand the ignorance and fear-mongering and welcome Syrian refugees.
Lorene Oikawa, President
Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association