Interior secretary defends Japanese comment to Hanabusa - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Interior secretary defends Japanese comment to Hanabusa

(Image: House Natural Resources Committee Democrats) (Image: House Natural Resources Committee Democrats)

SASABE, Ariz. (AP) - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is defending his use of a Japanese greeting when responding to a question from a congresswoman of Japanese descent.
    
The Arizona Republic reported Sunday that Zinke was asked about his use of the word "konnichiwa" while touring the U.S-Mexico border in Arizona on Saturday.
    
Zinke told reporters: "How could ever saying 'good morning' be bad?"
    
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, of Hawaii, asked Zinke on Thursday whether he would continue a program that preserves sites where Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II.
    
Zinke replied with "konnichiwa" - a Japanese greeting typically spoken in the afternoon. The Democratic congresswoman corrected him and used the Japanese phrase for good morning.
    
In a statement Saturday, Hanabusa said "this is precisely why Japanese Americans were treated as they were more than 75 years ago. It is racial stereotyping."
 

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