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Japanese internees during WW2, Australian War Memorial, 052460

Japanese internment in Australia during WWII

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Join us for a free talk presented by special guest Dr Yuriko Nagata - honorary senior research fellow with the School of Languages and Cultures at University of Queensland - as she discusses the internment of Australian Japanese people during WWII and its consequences.

During World War II, many Japanese people were interned in Australia. The purpose of internment was to identify and detain those who threatened the safety or defence of Australia and allay growing public concerns about a Japanese invasion. Most internees were civilian men, but some women and children were also interned in camps around Australia, often in remote locations.

People were interned based solely on their nationality, even if they had done no wrong.

For many of the first-generation Japanese settlers, internment came towards the end of their lives. All that they had worked hard for in Australia was taken away overnight.

One second generation ex-internee wrote: “The war and years of imprisonment had taken their toll on my father’s physical and psychological health. He was in his late seventies and very frail. All his life he had provided well for his family, but after the war he was reduced to dependence on charity. He had no real place in a country that hated the Japanese and he felt collective racial responsibility for the war, and worse, the atrocities committed by his people.”

After the talk, visitors can stay to explore the Memorial Galleries - embarking on a free interactive journey from World War I to today, before taking time to reflect on the remarkable stories of bravery and sacrifice in the tranquil parklands.

Anzac Square Memorial Galleries is located at 285 Ann Street, Brisbane. Entry is through the double brass doors located beneath the Shrine of Remembrance.

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Anzac Square Memorial Galleries