The Evacuation

war time identification card for student Yoji (George) Takeyasu showing address, age, height, weight

Evacuee’s card carried by Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, ca. 1942-1945
Galt Museum & Archives P19790284038

The Pacific War started with the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan on December 7, 1941. By December 16, the Canadian government required the immediate registration of all persons of Japanese origin, regardless of citizenship.

By February 1942, the federal government called for all Japanese Canadians to move out of the “Defense Zone” — a strip about 100 miles wide along the British Columbia coast. They were required to leave behind their homes, businesses, boats, and vehicles.

21,000 people were evacuated from the Defense Zone over an eleven month period. Many Japanese Canadians were interned in camps in the interior of British Columbia until after the war.

Over 2,500 Japanese Canadians were moved to southern Alberta in 1942, followed by an additional 800 in 1947. Those who came included Issei and Nisei.


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