Japanese Americans, internment of

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An action taken by the federal government in 1942, after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and brought the United States into World War II. Government officials feared that Americans of Japanese descent living on the West Coast might cooperate in an invasion of the United States by Japan. Accordingly, more than 100,000 of these residents were forced into relocation camps inland, most losing their homes, businesses, and other property in the process. About two-thirds of those moved were United States citizens. (See Nisei.)

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Many Japanese Americans, including a specially created army battalion, distinguished themselves in combat in World War II.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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