As a people, Canadians commit themselves to the creation of a society that ensures equality and justice for all, regardless of race or ethnic origin.
During and after World War II, Canadians of Japanese ancestry, the majority of whom were citizens, suffered unprecedented actions taken by the Government of Canada against their community.
Despite perceived military necessities at the time, the forced removal and internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II was unjust. In retrospect, government policies of disenfranchisement, detention, confiscation and sale of private and community property, expulsion, deportation and restriction of movement, which continued after the war, were influenced by discriminatory attitudes. Japanese Canadians who were interned had their property liquidated and the proceeds of sale were used to pay for their own internment.
The acknowledgement of these injustices serves notice to all Canadians that the excesses of the past are condemned and that the principles of justice and equality are reaffirmed.
Therefore, the Government of Canada, on behalf of all Canadians, does hereby:
1) acknowledge that the treatment of Japanese Canadians during and after World War II was unjust and violated principles of human rights as they are understood today;
2) pledge to ensure, the full extent that its powers allow, that such events will not happen again; and
3) recognize, with great respect, the fortitude and determination of Japanese Canadians, who despite great stress and hardship, retain their commitment and loyalty to Canada and contribute so richly to the development of the Canadian nation.
Prime Minister of Canada
Roy Miki and Cassandra Kobayashi, Justice in our time: The Japanese Canadian Redress Settlement (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1991), 7.