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- Source of title proper: Title supplied by the creator.
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approximately 1977-1998 (Creation)
- National Association of Japanese Canadians
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The National Association of Japanese Canadians is a non-profit incorporated organization that represents the Japanese Canadian community. Founded in 1947, the main objectives of the NAJC are to promote and develop a strong Japanese Canadian identity and to strengthen local communities and the national organization. The NAJC also strives for equal rights and liberties for all persons – in particular, the rights of racial and ethnic minorities.
The NAJC successfully negotiated the historic Redress Settlement on behalf of all Japanese Canadians who suffered injustices at the hands of their own government during and after World War II when they were forcibly dispossessed, relocated and interned. Following the successful redress of 1988, the NAJC remains focused on addressing human rights issues for all ethnic minorities in Canada and for continuing to strengthen Japanese Canadian identity.
The ultimately successful campaign for redress of wrongs committed by the Canadian government against Japanese citizens began in 1984. After the expiration of the Official Secrets Act it was discovered that the forced deportation of Japanese Canadians from the coast of BC was a decision not based on military reasons, but on racist ones. The NAJC sought recognition for the injustices that Japanese Canadians faced both during and after the war, as well as an assurance from the government that no other ethnic or racial minority would face similar injustices in the future. This was obtained by abolishing the War Measures Act and enacting the Emergencies Act. The Emergencies Act expressly prohibits discriminatory emergency orders, permits Parliament to override the emergency orders of the government, requires an inquiry into the actions of the government after any emergency, and provides payment of compensation to the victims of government actions. In addition, the NAJC sought monetary compensation for undue hardship. Between 1984 and 1988, the NAJC held seminars, house meetings, and conferences. They also lobbied and petitioned the Canadian government and sought the support of other ethnic and racial minorities in Canada. Seeking to educate their fellow Canadians, the NAJC commissioned a study by Price Waterhouse to determine the economic losses from the wartime dispossession, both at the time of confiscation (1940s) and then adjusted for inflation (1980s). By 1986, national polls indicated that 63% of Canadians were in support of redress and 45% were in support of individual compensation.