Law enacted to recognize ethnic Ainu minority as indigenous people

TOKYO — Japan enacted on April 19 legislation aimed at protecting and promoting the culture of the Ainu, an ethnic minority in northern Japan, with financial assistance, stipulating for the first time they are an “indigenous” people. The law requires the central and local governments to promote Ainu culture and industry, including tourism, in order […]

S.F. Cherry Blossom Festival crowns naginata practitioner Yuki Nishimura queen

San Francisco’s 52nd annual Cherry Blossom Festival crowned its 2019 queen April 13 during the ceremony held at the AMC Kabuki 8 in the city’s Japantown. The program, emceed by KTVU Fox 2 reporter Jana Katsuyama and Devin Katayama, host of KQED’s “The Bay” podcast, had Nami Katie Saito, Elena Anne Harumi Nielsen, NaOmi Leilani […]

Third suspect arrested in alleged ‘blessing’ scam of Chinese community members

A third suspect involved in a so-called “blessing” scam of elderly Chinese women was arrested last week in Southern California, according to San Francisco police. Juan Li, 62, of Rosemead, was apprehended by officers from San Francisco and Los Angeles on March 28 and booked into the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood on suspicion […]

Poisoning suspect pleads not guilty to attempted murder charge

OAKLAND, Calif. — A Lafayette man pleaded not guilty April 4 to a premeditated attempted murder charge alleging that he tried to kill a female colleague at a Berkeley engineering firm by putting the toxic metal cadmium into her food and water over a lengthy period in 2017 and 2018. Defense lawyer Julia Jayne asked […]

Japanese Americans gather in Texas to protest family detention at border

CRYSTAL CITY, Texas — More than 60 people from across the United States participated in a historical pilgrimage to Texas from March 29 to April 1 that included a memorial service at the former World War II Crystal City Department of Justice camp, a protest rally at the Dilley Detention Center, a meeting with Texas […]

S.F. police dept. apologizes for leaked report on Adachi’s death

A freelance photographer is alleged to have offered a TV news station confidential police information on the death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi in exchange for money, an official with the Public Defender’s office said April 18 at a Board of Supervisor’s committee hearing City Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer called for the hearing […]

L.A. ministers criticize anti-gay policy of United Methodist Churches

LOS ANGELES — Disturbed by the United Methodist Church’s continuing anti-gay stance, Revs. Mark Nakagawa and Sunyoung Lee, two local ministers with connections to Little Tokyo’s Centenary United Methodist Church, publicly criticized that decision and declared their continued support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer persons. The controversy followed the United Methodist Church’s Special […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: UC Berkeley JA alumnae group issues award and scholarships

On March 16 on a beautiful spring day, the Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley held its 29th annual scholarship award lunch at the Berkeley Country Club in El Cerrito, Calif. Over the years, the organization has awarded 135 undergraduate and 65 graduate scholarships to young women of Japanese ancestry attending the University of […]

Two down, one to go — Court rulings pile up against citizenship question

An Interview with Thomas Saenz by Pilar Marrero, La Opinion & Ethnic Media Services Editor’s Note: Two federal judges recently ruled against the Trump administration’s plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), is lead co-counsel on […]

S.F. supervisor proposes renaming street after late Public Defender Jeff Adachi

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney on March 19 proposed renaming a South of Market street after late Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who passed away last month. During the Board of Supervisor’s meeting, Haney introduced a resolution to rename Gilbert Street to Jeff Adachi Way. The street is located between Brannan and Bryant streets and runs […]

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