Honouliuli Internment Camp Designated As National Historic Monument

Honolulu, HI – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) praised President Obama’s announcement that he intends to designate the Honouliuli Internment Camp as a National Historic Monument.  This designation will put Honouliuli under the management of the National Park Service (NPS) and help preserve the history of the site where hundreds of Japanese-Americans were wrongly interned during World War II.

“Honouliuli represents a dark period in our history when thousands of Japanese-Americans in Hawai‘i and across the country were forced into internment camps during World War II,” said Senator Schatz.  “This historic site will memorialize the strength and bravery of the many Japanese-Americans who faced discrimination and serve as a reminder to ourselves and future generations that we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past.  Our deep gratitude goes to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, the Japanese American Citizens League and others who worked tirelessly for this achievement.   It is meaningful and right that Honouliuli has finally received the historic recognition it deserves.”

Senator Schatz worked to help facilitate Honouliuli’s historic designation.  In 2013, Senator Schatz met with NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis to discuss the need to complete the special resource study, which was authorized by Congress in 2009 to review the site for potential inclusion in the National Park System.  Following the meeting, Senator Schatz sent Director Jarvis a letter to reiterate his support for the Honouliuli Internment Camp’s inclusion in the National Park System.

Last December, Senator Schatz joined Carole Hayashino, the President and Executive Director of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, and Jacce Mikulanec, President of the Honolulu Japanese American Citizens League, to present Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell with petitions from more than 6,000 Americans requesting the historic designation of Honouliuli.

In 1943, the Honouliuli Internment Camp was constructed on Oahu to intern citizens, resident aliens, and prisoners of war.  The camp held approximately 320 internees and 4,000 prisoners of war.  Honouliuli was the largest and longest-used World War II internment camp in Hawai‘i.