Senator Daniel K. Inouye was an inspiration to generations in Hawai‘i. We took pride in his distinguished World War II military service with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. We were proud when he broke through racial barriers in Washington D.C. and played a leadership role during the Senate Watergate hearings and the Iran-Contra investigations. We are especially proud and will be forever grateful for Senator Inouye’s courage as a champion for justice.
Senator Inouye gave a voice to Americans of Japanese ancestry interned during World War II. He advocated for the federal investigation into the mass roundup and incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast and called for the establishment of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. Senator Inouye’s leadership led to the passage of the redress bill, HR442, The Civil Liberties Act of 1988.
More recently, Senator Inouye joined with JCCH to support the preservation of Honouliuli, the longest operating World War II confinement site in Hawai‘i. His support contributed to the first documentary film on the internment of Japanese in Hawai‘i and later a special resource study focused on the historical significance of Honouliuli.
“Justice is a matter of continuing education,” he once stated when discussing the importance of remembering the Japanese American internment. “If only to remind ourselves that it happened here, in our democracy.”
For his courage, leadership and all that he accomplished in our community, our state, our country, we are truly grateful. Our hearts are broken, but may be find the strength to re-commit ourselves to the values that Senator Daniel K. Inouye represented and find comfort in knowing that his legacy will continue.
Statement by Carole Hayashino
President and Executive Director
Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i