Sec. Jewell, Gov. Ige, Senators Schatz and Hirono Join Community Dedication of Honouliuli National Monument

National Park Service will now undertake collaborative public planning process to establish, interpret monument site

Last edited 09/29/2021

O‘AHU, HI – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today joined Hawai‘i Governor David Ige, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, National Park Service (NPS) Deputy Director Peggy O'Dell, state and local officials, and community leaders to dedicate Honouliuli National Monument, the site of the largest and longest-used confinement site in Hawai‘i for Japanese American citizens, resident immigrants and prisoners of war during World War II.

In February, President Obama used the Antiquities Act to establish the new national monument, which is now the fifth site in the park system associated with the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

“As one of the newest units of the National Park System, Honouliuli National Monument speaks of a painful but important chapter in our involvement in World War II – the unjust internment of Japanese Americans and other citizens whose civil rights were trampled by the prejudice and fear of the time,” Jewell said. “I applaud President Obama for establishing this monument and all of those in Hawai‘i who worked so hard to ensure this place is preserved and the story is told for future generations.”

The site is managed by the National Park Service, which will conduct a management planning process with full public involvement. The NPS in March signed a cooperative agreement with the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i to help provide educational and interpretive opportunities of the site and to promote awareness of Japanese American internment experiences during the Pacific War.

"The National Park Service is proud to have Honouliuli National Monument among our sites that share important lessons from America's history," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "In dedicating this new national monument, we are recommitting ourselves to share the difficult stories of this place so that they are never forgotten and so future generations can learn from past mistakes."

"Today, we are proud to be among many friends and supporters to welcome U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to Honolulu and to thank her for supporting the preservation of the Honouliuli Internment Camp," said Carole Hayashino, president and executive director of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i. "This day honors our past –the memories of the former internees – and celebrates the future. The Honouliuli National Monument is a gift to future generations who will now have the opportunity to visit the former internment camp site and learn about the unique World War II experience of Japanese Americans in Hawai'i and lessons of civil liberties and the U.S. Constitution. Honouliuli was lost and forgotten for many years. The new Honouliuli National Monument will ensure that people will never forget."

Monsanto Company donated the land for the new monument. The University of Hawai‘i -West O‘ahu is actively involved in research and interpretation of the site and has signed an agreement with the NPS to assure public access over its lands adjacent to the site.

“We're honored to participate in the celebration of the new Honouliuli National Monument and reach this historic milestone in the community's efforts to preserve the Honouliuli Internment Camp as part of the U.S. National Park System,” said Alan Takemoto, Monsanto's Community Affairs Manager for Hawaii. “Transferring ownership of this land to the Federal Government is the result of years of planning and coordination. We're very proud to be part of this collaboration, from donating 123 acres for establishment of the National Monument, to working on site preparations with distinctive organizations like the National Park Service, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, and the University of Hawaii.”

The 155-acre site, located at the bottom of a deep gulch not far from Pearl Harbor, opened in March 1943, and interned Japanese and European Americans and resident aliens, eventually holding 400 civilian internees and 4,000 prisoners of war. After the war, it was largely forgotten and overgrown with vegetation until it was identified in 2002.

Japanese American organizations and elected leaders in Hawai‘i have strongly supported preserving and interpreting the camp. In 2010, Congress authorized the Department of the Interior to conduct a study of the site for possible inclusion in the National Park System.

More information about the new monument is available at

The Antiquities Act was first exercised by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to designate Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Since then, 16 presidents have used this authority to protect unique natural and historic features in America, such as the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Colorado's Canyons of the Ancients.

President Obama has used the Antiquities Act to establish or expand 16 national monuments. Altogether, he has protected more than 260 million acres of public lands and waters – more than any other President – as well as preserved sites that help tell the story of significant people or extraordinary events in American history, such as César E. Chávez National Monument in California, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland, and Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio.

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