Skip to main content
  1. Home /
  2. Timeline /

Japanese Internment

Confiscated Japanese-Canadian fishing boats on the Fraser River.

These Japanese-Canadian fishing boats at Annieville dike on the Fraser River are only a fraction of those seized in 1942. Image C-07293 courtesy of the Royal BC Museum and Archives.

After Japan bombs Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the United States declares war, the Canadian Government orders the removal of all persons of Japanese ancestry, regardless of their place of birth, from within 100 miles (160 kilometres) of the B.C. coast beginning in March 1942.

1,800 of the 22,000 people of Japanese descent in B.C. are employed in the fisheries. The government impounds all 1,337 Japanese fishing boats. Japanese people are not allowed to return to the coast until 1949.

Japanese evacuees lean out of train windows to hold hands with people below.

Japanese-Canadians being relocated to camps in the interior of British Columbia in 1942. Library and Archives Canada, C-057250