Brief overview of Japanese Canadian history
* 1877: Arrival of Manzo Nagano, first Japanese person known to land and settle in Canada.1895 British Columbia Government denies franchise (voting rights) to citizens of Asiatic origin
* 1907: Anti-Asiatic Riot in Vancouver led by the Asiatic Exclusion League.
* 1908: Hayashi-Lemieux Gentlemen’s Agreement: Japan voluntarily agreed to restrict the number of passports issued to male labourers and domestic servants to an annual maximum of 400.
* 1916-1917: 200 Japanese Canadians volunteer for service with Canadian army in France (WWI). 54 are killed and 92 are wounded.
* 1919: Japanese fishermen control nearly half of the fishing licenses (3,267). Department of Fisheries reduces number of licenses issued to “other than white residents, British subjects and Canadian Indians”. By 1925 close to 1,000 licenses stripped from Japanese Canadians.
1920 Japanese Labour Union (eventually the Camp and Mill Workers’ Union) formed under Etsu Suzuki
* 1923: Gentlemen’s agreement: Number of Japanese male immigrants (same categories as in 1908) not to exceed 150 annually.
* 1924: The labour union newspaper The Daily People [Minshu] begins publication.
* 1928: Gentlemen’s Agreement amendment. Wives and children now included in the annual quota of 150.
* 1931: Surviving veterans are given the right to vote.
1936 Delegation from Japanese Canadian Citizens League goes to Ottawa to plead for franchise (the right to vote). They are unsuccessful.
* 1941 (January 8): Despite citizenship, Japanese Canadians are excluded from military service (WWII).
* 1941 (March 4): Registration of all Japanese Canadians.
* 1941 (August 12): Japanese Canadians are required to carry registration cards that have their thumbprint and photo.
* 1941 (December 7): Japan attacks Pearl Harbour.
* 1941 (December 8): 1,200 Japanese Canadian fishing boats are impounded. Japanese language newspapers and schools close.
* 1942 (January 16): Removal begins of Japanese immigrant males from coastal areas.
* 1942 (February 24): All male Japanese Canadian citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 ordered to be removed from 100-mile-wide zone along the coast of British Columbia.
* 1942 (February 26): Mass evacuation of Japanese Canadians begins. Some given only 24 hours notice. Cars, cameras and radios confiscated for “protective measures”. Curfew imposed.
* 1942 (March 4): Japanese Canadians ordered to turn over property and belongings to Custodian of Enemy Alien Property as a “protective measure only”.
* 1942 (March 16): First arrivals at Vancouver’s Hastings Park pooling centre. All Japanese Canadian mail censored from this date.
* 1942 (March 25): British Columbia Security Commission initiates scheme of forcing men to road camps and women and children to “ghost town” detention camps.
* 1942 (April 21): First arrivals at detention camp in Greenwood, British Columbia.
* 1942 (May 21): First arrivals at camps at Kaslo, New Denver, Slocan, Sandon and Tashme, British Columbia.
* 1942 (June 29): Director of Soldier Settlement given authority to buy or lease confiscated Japanese Canadian farms. 572 farms turned over without consulting owners.
* 1943 (January 19): Federal cabinet order-in-council grants Custodian of Enemy Alien Property the right to dispose of Japanese Canadians’ property without owners’ consent.
* 1945 (January-May): 150 Japanese Canadians volunteer for service with Canadian army in Far East.
* 1945 (April 13): Beginning of intimidation campaign towards Japanese Canadians living in British Columbia to move to Eastern Canada or be deported to Japan.
* 1945 (September 2): Japan surrenders after atomic bombs are dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (WWII).
* 1946 (May 31): “Repatriation” begins; 3,964 go to Japan, many of whom are Canadian citizens.
* 1947 (January 24): Federal cabinet order-in-council on deportation of Japanese Canadians repealed after protests by churches, academics, journalists and politicians.
* 1948 (June 15): Federal franchise (the right to vote) extended to all Japanese Canadians.
* 1949 (April 1): Removal of last restrictions; Japanese Canadians are free to move anywhere in Canada.
* 1967: Canadian government announced new immigration regulations – a point system for selection. It no longer used race as a category.
* 1988 (September 22): Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announces the Canadian Government’s formal apology for the wrongful incarceration, seizure of property and the disenfranchisement of thousands of Canadians of Japanese ancestry. A redress settlement was also announced which included individual compensation for all survivors.
* 1992: National Nikkei Heritage Centre Society is incorporated. Japanese Canadian Redress Foundation grants $3.0 million for heritage centre project.
* 1995: Japanese Canadian National Museum & Archives Society is incorporated and begins planning for museum and archives facility in National Nikkei Heritage Centre (NNHC).
* 2000: Proposed date for the opening of NNHC in Burnaby, B.C. The official home of the Japanese Canadian National Museum, JCCA Nikkei Resource Centre, a special events complex, a restaurant and shops.