During World War II both the Allied and Axis Powers interned people of enemy origin in the name of national security. After Japan entered the war on 8 December 1941, Japanese living in many parts of the world under Allied control were interned. The United Kingdom arrested about 5,000 Japanese in various places including India, Malaya and Singapore, and held them in camps in India. Ninety-six Japanese were also arrested in the UK and held on the Isle of Man.1 The American and Canadian governments pursued policies of wholesale internment of Japanese. About 22,000 Japanese Canadians and 112,000 Japanese Americans were put in camps. In the Philippines 17,800 Japanese were interned for a short time until Japanese forces landed on Mindanao on 20 December. Japanese were also interned in South America. The Peruvian government interned approximately 1,800 Japanese at the request of the United States and these were later transferred to the USA. The internment of Japanese in Australia was part of the world-wide actions taken by the Allies against the Japanese. This book deals with the experiences of Japanese nationals and people of Japanese origin who were interned in Australia during the war.
Australia interned about 16,700 people who were classified as being of enemy origin -- mainly German, Italian or Japanese. They comprised two groups -- local internees arrested within Australia and its territories (hereafter referred to as "local internees"), and overseas internees held on behalf of other Allied Governments (hereafter referred to as "overseas internees"). 4,301 Japanese were held in Australia -- 1,141 locals and 3,160 from overseas, principally the Dutch East Indies (hereafter N.E.I.), New Caledonia, the New Hebrides, the Solomon Islands and New Zealand. About 600 Formosans were arrested as Japanese and included among the internees from N.E.I. Some Koreans were also arrested as Japanese, but their number is unknown as they used Japanese names.
Although this book deals with the common experiences of both overseas and local internees, such as background to migration, arrest, internment and repatriation, the emphasis is on local internees. Australia only accepted overseas internees at the request of other Allied nations and was not legally responsible for them beyond their internment whilst in Australia. There is closer analysis of the pre- and post-war experiences of local internees and discussion of internment policy is limited to this group. ..................................