THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2678

TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2012

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO HONOULIULI.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. In the decade following the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, racial profiling, increases in hate crimes targeted toward specific ethnic and religious groups, and the detention of individuals without trial have echoed past injustices.

Until September 11, 2001, the last place in the United States that was attacked by foreign enemies was Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona Memorial became one of Hawaii's most popular tourist attractions because of its significance in world history as the site of the event that compelled the United States to enter World War II. As part of our nation's World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, approximately one million five hundred thousand people view the Arizona Memorial each year.

Honouliuli is also the setting of other key World War II sites. In Kapolei, Fort Barrette's cannons and road served as a supply road and connector to Kapolei Military Reservation, and made Fort Barrette a target for neutralization on December 7, 1941. In a pre-dawn, one-hour attack, air fighters riddled Fort Barrette road with bullets. In the same hour, Japanese planes launched a preemptive strike to disable military aircraft on the Marine Corps Air Field in Ewa. Nearly three years later, West Loch in Honouliuli was the base for Operation Forager, commanded by Admiral Chester Nimitz. This victorious, offensive attack in the Mariana Islands was a pivotal point in World War II for the Allied Forces.

As a result of the actions by Japan in World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the military to relocate those it deemed to pose a threat to national security and to declare large sections of the country as military areas and exclusion zones. The order authorized the exclusion of persons of Japanese ancestry from the entire Pacific coast. The federal Census Bureau secretly provided confidential information on Japanese-Americans to assist in the internment efforts. Citizens with as little as one-sixteenth per cent of Japanese blood were placed in internment camps. Korean-Americans, mistakenly thought to be Japanese, were also affected.

Without judicial process, one hundred ten thousand to one hundred twenty thousand innocent Americans of Japanese ancestry were unlawfully rounded up, sent to, and detained in war relocation camps. Sixty-two per cent of the detainees were citizens of the United States. Interrogators accused the detainees of disloyalty, sabotage, and spying. These accusations stung the hearts of the detainees who had committed no crime. Entire families, with children born in the United States, were taken out of their homes and placed in internment camps with only basic belongings. Once removed, their lands were seized and forfeited. The only basis for the deprivation of liberty and property was that their ancestors came from Japan.

In Hawaii, American authorities interned between one thousand two hundred to one thousand eight hundred Japanese-Americans. The already existing state of martial law lessened the perceived need for wholesale internment. When five of the relocation centers in Hawaii were closed, many of the Hawaii internees were transferred to mainland internment sites. Three hundred detainees remaining in Hawaii were housed in a newly constructed camp in Honouliuli. While no persons were officially charged, they remained in the detention centers for the duration of the war. Sanji Abe, the first American of Japanese ancestry to be elected to the territorial senate, and Thomas Sakakihara, a member of the territorial house of representatives, were among the Honouliuli internees.

In her landmark book, "Farewell to Manzanar," Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston echoes what many survivors felt about their experiences in the internment camps. Visiting the Manzanar internment camp with her husband and three children decades later, the author needed to remind herself that it actually existed, because with time, she began to think that the experiences in her young life were only a creation of her imagination.

In Hawaii, the Alien Internment Camp in Honouliuli stands as a reminder of a time when fear and prejudice overrode the civil rights for which America is known. A report entitled "Costs of War," written by a multi-national team of highly respected scholars, shows that the actions taken in response to September 11, 2001, echo the injustices experienced by innocent Japanese-Americans during and following World War II.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Provide state support toward preservation of the site of the World War II internment and prisoner of war camp in Honouliuli;

(2) Establish a mechanism to leverage county, state, federal, and private funding of an educational resource center at the site; and

(3) Memorialize the struggle for civil rights by Hawaii's people.

SECTION 2. (a) The department of land and natural resources shall establish a Honouliuli park site project advisory group to develop recommendations to leverage county, state, federal, and private funding for an educational resource center at the Honouliuli site. The advisory group shall work with the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Japanese American Citizens League, University of Hawaii at West-Oahu, historians, and other interested stakeholders, including business, veteran, community, legislative, and other organizations. The work of the advisory group shall complement the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii's goal of designating the Honouliuli internment prisoner of war camp site and associated sites within Hawaii as part of the United States National Park Service.

(b) Members of the advisory group, including a representative from the department of land and natural resources state historic preservation division shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate.

(c) The advisory group shall report to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the regular session of 2013 on:

(1) Recommendations to leverage county, state, federal, and private funding for an educational resource center at the Honouliuli site; and

(2) The status of designating the Honouliuli internment-prisoner of war camp site and associated sites within Hawaii as part of the United States National Park Service.

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the Hawaii historic preservation special fund the sum of $         or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2012-2013 to fund the advisory group

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.



 

Report Title:

Honouliuli Camp Site; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires DLNR to establish a Honouliuli park site project advisory group to develop recommendations to leverage funding for an educational resource center at the Honouliuli site and submit a report to the 2013 Legislature on its progress. Appropriates funds to fund the advisory group. Effective July 1, 2050. (SB2678 HD1)

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.