MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (JCC) held a special tribute event Sunday at the Manoa Grand Ballroom in remembrance of the Japanese and Japanese Americans who were detained in Hawaii during World War II.
Shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii authorities arrested many local Japanese on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. A total of over 2,000 men and women of Japanese ancestry were arrested, detained, and interned in Hawaii.
"Day of Remembrance" events such as this are held throughout the country in recognition of Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942. The presidential order gave way to the exclusion, eviction, and imprisonment of persons of Japanese ancestry living on the west coast and the selective roundup and detention of persons of Japanese ancestry living in Hawaii.
"I was an enemy alien," the late Senator Daniel Inouye said in a previous interview with regard to the Japanese interment after World War II. "All Japanese citizens and otherwise were enemies of the country."
According to the JCC, Hawaii's Day of Remembrance explored the lessons of the Japanese internment from the perspective of an educator, civil rights advocate, legislator and high school student.
The event also commemorated the 70th anniversary of the opening of Honouliuli, the longest operating World War II internment camp in Hawaii, as well as the 25th anniversary of the passage of the redress bill which offered a congressional apology and monetary compensation of $20,000 to each surviving internee who was wrongfully accused and imprisoned.