ABSTRACT

Most accounts of this internment focus on the problems of dealing with Japanese control. Less commented on – to a large extent ‘forgotten’ – are two problems which together did much to shape the internees’ lives: the high concentration of internees in the camps; and the decrease in food supply as the war progressed. These pressures motivated some internees to use informal and criminal methods to obtain extra goods and food. This in its turn raised the question of how internees might be policed, both by the Japanese to ensure obedience to outside orders, and by themselves to prevent the scramble for resources undermining their own welfare.