Why did Japanese Americans generally face more restrictions than Italian or German Americans during World War II?

1 Answer
Jun 26, 2018

Because of the nature of the conflict.


The USA was attacked by Japan not Italy or Germany at Pearl Harbour in December 1941. Indeed the USA did not declare war on Germany, and there is no guarantee they would have become directly involved in the conflict in Europe. It was Hitler who declared war on the USA.

After 1941, much of the US involvement particularly troop deployment was in the Pacific not Europe. Later the American airforce became involved in daytime bombing of Germany. Also US troops landed in Sicily and took part in D Day.

However Japan was seen as the direct aggressor against the USA.

It is also the case the isolationism was still an important part of American culture even after 1941. There were also large German and Italian communities and there was support for Hitler and Mussolini.

The nature of the fighting in the Pacific with the repeated refusal of Japanese troops to surrender led to huge American losses.

As a consequence Japanese Americans felt the brunt of the American reaction to their involvement in World War2.