Japanese camp funding advances after Zinke, Hanabusa spat

Japanese camp funding advances after Zinke, Hanabusa spat
(Image: House Natural Resources Committee Democrats)

By AUDREY McAVOY
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Funding for a program to preserve the sites where Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II has moved forward after becoming the backdrop of a spat between a Hawaii congresswoman and the Interior Department boss.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke discussed the funding last week at a House committee hearing in Washington.

When the Japanese-American congresswoman asked Zinke whether he would continue the program, Zinke replied with the Japanese greeting for hello, or "konnichiwa."

Hanabusa's colleagues later criticized Zinke for being juvenile and treating her as a foreigner. Hanabusa said Zinke was racially stereotyping her.

Zinke defended his use of the term, saying, "How could ever saying 'good morning' be bad?"

The House approved $3 million for the project. It now goes to the Senate.

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