Pilot Project Establishes Tours of Honouliuli

June 23, 2011, 1:55 PM HST · Updated June 24, 7:16 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono is briefed by Brian Niiya of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii at the Honouliuli Internment Camp site on Oahu. August 28, 2009. Courtesy file photo.

A $38,565 grant has been awarded to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i to launch a pilot program offering tours of the Honouliuli confinement site on O’ahu.  The site is currently under restricted access, and was used during World War II as a confinement area where Japanese Americans were detained.

“The Japanese confinement sites are an important part of the history of our country and our state,” said U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawai’i) who joined his colleague U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye in making the funding announcement today.

“Tens of thousands of Japanese Americans across the country and many in Hawaii were torn from their homes on suspicion that they would not be loyal to the U.S., even including family members of the historic 442nd Regimental Combat Team. It is important to preserve these sites so that future generations can learn from our past – both the successes and mistakes,” said Sen. Akaka.

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Under the pilot program, a tour brochure will be developed and printed, and six tours will be conducted.  Program leaders will then issue a report to evaluate the program.

The grant was made possible through the National Parks Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Program.  The program was created in 2006 with the help of Senators Inouye and Akaka who led the Senate effort for its establishment.

The Japanese American Confinement Sites Grants Program is authorized for up to $38 million in grants over the life of the program to identify, research, evaluate, interpret, protect, restore, repair, and acquire historic sites where Japanese Americans were confined during WWII.

The goal of the program is to teach present and future generations about the injustice of the confinement and inspire a commitment to equal justice under the law.

*** Supporting information courtesy Office of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka.

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