We have found it necessary to take measures of increasing stringency, not only against enemy aliens and suspicious characters of other nationalities, but also against British subjects who may become a danger or a nuisance should the war be transported to the United Kingdom. I know there are a great many people affected by the orders which we have made who are the passionate enemies of Nazi Germany. I am very sorry for them, but we cannot, at the present time and under the present stress, draw all the distinctions which we should like to do. If parachute landings were attempted and fierce fighting attendant upon them followed, these unfortunate people would be far better out of the way, for their own sakes as well as for ours.

—Winston Churchill. Speech to the House of Commons, June 4, 1940.

Neither the internment of Germans by the British, nor the internment of Japanese by the United States, were inconsistent with the natural law. During war the innocent are deliberately killed by the state, and the rights of innocents are routinely trampled by their own governments. A righteous nation must reluctantly perpetrate necessary evils in order to avoid the greater evil that would surely follow from failing to defend itself. The guilt for these violations, along with all the other horrors of war, rests with the aggressor nation. An innocent nation is no more culpable than a security guard who returns fire during a bank heist.

‘Never again’ is an admirable response to the United States internment of the Japanese, but it must be directed at the aggressor Japanese, not at the humane and honest steps taken by free Americans to protect their security. The Japanese internees in America lived in the very lap of luxury compared to what other peoples suffered at the hands of the Japanese. It falls very ill from Japanese mouths to complain about their treatment when one recalls:

  • Alexandra Hospital Massacre
  • Banka Island Massacre
  • Bataan Death March
  • Burma Railway
  • Changjiao Massacre
  • Comfort Women
  • Hell Ships
  • Kalagong Massacre
  • Laha Massacre
  • Manila Massacre
  • Rape of Nanking
  • Palawan Massacre
  • Panjiayu Massacre
  • Parit Sulong Massacre
  • Sandakan Death Marches
  • Sook Ching Massacre
  • Tol Plantation Massacre
  • Wake Island Massacre

Anyone with Japanese ancestry ought be deeply ashamed of what their people did and should reflect on how fortunate it was that the decency of the American culture prevented any of their captive people from ever being in the slightest danger of being bayoneted, raped, soaked in gasoline and burned alive, towed behind a submarine as it submerged, or being beaten, worked, and starved to death or vivisected while still alive.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove