During World War II , it has been estimated that between 19, and 50, members of the Imperial Japanese military surrendered to Western Allied combatants prior to the end of the Pacific War in August Western Allied governments and senior military commanders directed that Japanese POWs be treated in accordance with relevant international conventions. In practice though, many Allied soldiers were unwilling to accept the surrender of Japanese troops because of atrocities committed by the Japanese as well as racist sentiments. A campaign launched in to encourage prisoner-taking was partially successful, and the number of prisoners taken increased significantly in the last year of the war. Japanese POWs often believed that by surrendering they had broken all ties with Japan, and many provided military intelligence to the Allies. The prisoners taken by the Western Allies were held in generally good conditions in camps located in Australia, New Zealand, India and the United States.
From to , it was the policy of the U. Enacted in reaction to Pearl Harbor and the ensuing war, the Japanese internment camps are now considered one of the most atrocious violations of American civil rights in the 20th century. Roosevelt signed Executive Order with the intention of preventing espionage on American shores. Executive Order affected the lives about , people—the majority of whom were American citizens. Canada soon followed suit, relocating 21, of its Japanese residents from its west coast.
The majority of the approximately 3. Western Allies had taken 35, Japanese prisoners between December and 15 August , i. The majority of Japanese who were held in the USSR did not consider themselves as "Prisoners of War" and referred to themselves as "internees", because they voluntarily laid down their arms after the official capitulation of Japan, i. The number of Japanese prisoners captured in combat was very small. In addition there were two camps for those convicted of various crimes.