HomeAsian AmericansPlans for wind farm near memorial to Japanese American incarceration protested

Plans for wind farm near memorial to Japanese American incarceration protested

Survivors of the Japanese American World War II incarceration camp are protesting plans to build a wind farm near an incarceration memorial site in Idaho.

LS Power, a New York-based power company, in seeking approval from the federal Bureau of Land Management to build 400 wind turbines near the Minidoka National Historical Site, The Oregonian reports. The Minidoka National Historical Site is a memorial the over 13,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned at Minidoka camp during World War II.

According to The Guardian, camp survivors, alongside their descendants and allies, are protesting plans to build what would be called the Lava Ridge wind farm.

“Minidoka is one of the few federally recognized sites of Asian American history in the United States and it is essential that it be protected as a place for learning and healing for future generations. The proposed wind farm would gravely jeopardise the views and solemn nature of the site,” Naomi Ostwald Kawamura, the executive director of Densho, told The Guardian.

Many survivors and descendants of camp survivors take pilgrimages to Minidoka. Erin Shigaki and Kyle Kinoshita say they are “essential to healing our Japanese community.”

“The visits make our stories visible when the incarceration history has been erased from American memory and textbooks. But the Lava Ridge project would forever desecrate what we — Japanese American survivors and descendants of the incarceration — consider to be hallowed ground, a place where all can learn the historical importance of this event to every American,” Shigaki and Kinoshita wrote in an op-Ed for the Seattle Times.

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