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January 1942
Japanese Canadians Were Uprooted and Exiled from B.C. Coast
1942 UBC Japanese Canadian Students

On January 14, 1942, a 100-mile wide strip along the B.C. coast was designated a “protected area” by the federal government and all male Japanese Canadians between the ages of 18 and 45 were to be removed from the area and taken to road camps in the interior. On March 4, 1942, all people of Japanese racial origin were told to leave the protected area. Throughout 1942, during the Second World War, 22,000 Japanese Canadians were uprooted and exiled from the B.C. coast. Among this group were 76 UBC students who were an integral part of the university community. The upheaval of 1942 changed the course of the students’ lives. Few were able to complete their studies after the war while some attended universities in eastern Canada. In November 2011, the UBC Senate approved three measures to recognize what happened to the UBC students: the students will be awarded honorary degrees, the university will develop initiatives to educate future students about this shameful period in history, and the Library will preserve and bring to life the historical record of that time. The students were awarded honorary degrees on May 30, 2012.