Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 9:33 a.m., Thursday, April 23, 2009

Inouye seeks study of Isle internment camps as possible historic sites

Advertiser Staff

U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye today introduced a bill to have the Secretary of the Interior conduct a study to determine if World War II internment camp sites in Hawaii are eligible to be listed as historic sites under the National Park System.

"During World War II, over 1,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in at least eight locations on Hawaii," Inouye said.

"In a report completed in 2007, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii documented these sites that include Honouliuli Gulch, Sand Island, and the U.S. Immigration Station on Oahu, the Kilauea Military Camp on the Big Island, Haiku Camp and Wailuku County Jail on Maui, and the Kalaheo Stockade and Waialua County Jail on Kauai. These camps also held approximately 100 local residents of German and Italian ancestry.

"Those detained included the leaders of the Japanese immigrant community in Hawaii, many of whom were taken from their homes and families in the hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The forced removal of these individuals began a nearly four-year odyssey to a series of camps in Hawaii and on the continental United States. Over 1,000 immediate family members of these men joined their husbands, fathers and relatives in mainland camps. The detainees were never formally charged and granted only token hearings. Many of the detainees' sons served with distinction in the U.S armed forces, including the legendary 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service.

"This report found that both the Kilauea Military Camp and the Honouliuli sites feature historic resources and recommended that the sites be nominated for listing on the National Register for Historic Places. In 2008, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii published a more detailed archeological reconnaissance of the Honouliuli site. This report found that there were numerous historic features that would qualify the site for National Historic Register and further recommended that the site be conserved. The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii is currently working with Monsanto, the landowner, to nominate the Honouliuli Gulch site to be listed on the National Historic Register."

The bill was co-sponsored in the Senate by U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, a co-sponsor of Senat.

The House version of Inouye's bill was also introduced today by U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono. Its co-sponsors include U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie.

In addition to the support of the entire Hawaii delegation, the Inouye measure is also co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Michael Honda, Doris Matsui, and Laura Richardson, all of California; David Wu of Oregon; Al Green of Texas; and Bobby Scott of Virginia; and Delegates Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa; Madeleine Bordallo of Guam; and Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands.