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Nevertheless, it followed hostility from the government.The Japanese Brazilian community was strongly marked by restrictive measures when Brazil declared war against Japan in August 1942.In 1941, the Brazilian Minister of Justice, Francisco Campos, defended the ban on admission of 400 Japanese immigrants in São Paulo and wrote: "their despicable standard of living is a brutal competition with the country's worker; their selfishness, their bad faith, their refractory character, make them a huge ethnic and cultural cyst located in the richest regions of Brazil".Some years before World War II, the government of President Getúlio Vargas initiated a process of forced assimilation of people of immigrant origin in Brazil.The Constitution of 1934 had a legal provision about the subject: "The concentration of immigrants anywhere in the country is prohibited; the law should govern the selection, location and assimilation of the alien".
There were many anonymous denunciations because of "activities against national security" arising from disagreements between neighbours, recovery of debts and even fights between children.By contrast, most Pacific Islanders were deported soon after the policy was adopted, while the remainder were forced out of the canefields where they had worked for decades.Brazilian elites desired the racial whitening of the country, much as what happened in Argentina and Uruguay, so that it stimulated European immigration, but non-white immigration always face huge backlash.Japanese Brazilians were arrested for "suspicious activity" when they were in artistic meetings or picnics. To reside in Baixada Santista, the Japanese had to have a safe conduct.On July 10, 1943, approximately 10,000 Japanese and German immigrants who lived in Santos had 24 hours to close their homes and businesses and move away from the Brazilian coast. In 1942, the Japanese community who introduced the cultivation of pepper in Tomé-Açu, in Pará, was virtually turned into a "concentration camp" (expression of the time) from which no Japanese could leave.