Not that the Chinese were generally better treated in the US. Anti-Asian sentiment in the US and elsewhere dates from well before WWII. For example, there was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, a ban on Chinese immigration that lasted until 1943:
The original Yellow Peril rhetoric focused on the Chinese, not the Japanese. Chinese immigration into the US – and other Western countries as well – was important in the 19th century. The term refers to skin color and the fear that the mass immigration threatened white wages and standards of living and that the immigrants would eventually take over and destroy western civilization. The notion continued to have some currency until late in the 20th century, when it became associated with fears of Chinese overpopulation.
And did they need protection. Here’s the story of the Denver riot of 1880:
Denver had a section of town, populated by Chinese laborers, known as “Hop Alley”. The name was in reference to the widespread use of opium amongst the “Celestials” as some people referred to the Chinese at that time. A group of railroad laborers entered a bar in the area and confronted two Chinese men playing pool, hit one of them with a cue stick, and was promptly shot at by the other pool player. He missed, but word quickly spread that a Chinaman had killed a white man. A large crowd gathered with the intent to destroy the Chinese, along with all their possessions. (source)
Another example is the Asiatic Exclusion League, an organization formed in the early twentieth century in the United States and Canada that aimed to prevent immigration of people of Asian origin. In 1907, riots erupted in Vancouver when League members besieged Chinatown. Shouting racist slogans, as many as 10,000 people marched into Chinatown, vandalizing and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. A small Kristallnacht. The mob then rampaged through Japantown, where they were confronted by residents armed with clubs and bottles with which they fought back (source).
Here’s a print from Mexico about the “terrible diseases of the Orient”, from 1932:
And here’s one from New Zealand:
Here’s another fine illustration betraying prejudice:
Sentiments like these have become rare nowadays, but haven’t totally disappeared. Here’s an Australian job ad:
More collections of images are here.