A Curious Case of Mistaken Identity


WASHINGTON — Glen S. Fukushima, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, received several emails on April 29 informing him that The Washington Post had published his photo in an article about the previous night’s state dinner at the White House for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie.

Fukushima, who has served as head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, was surprised to see a photo of Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) and her son Brian with this caption: “Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) arrives with Glen Shigeru Fukushima.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (left) tweeted this photo of herself with Rep. Doris Matsui.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (left) tweeted this photo of herself with Rep. Doris Matsui.

“One would think that The Washington Post could at least correctly identify members of Congress!” Fukushima wrote in a Facebook post.

One of Fukushima’s Facebook friends commented, “I guess The Post really does think we all look alike.”

Hirono and Matsui are the only Japanese American women in Congress and the only Japanese American members of Congress to attend the dinner.

The newspaper has since run a correction.

Hirono seemed to take the error in stride, tweeting, “Happy to be on PM Abe’s escort committee with @DorisMatsui — or as the press knows her, the other Mazie Hirono.”

Fukushima was indeed at the dinner, which was attended by Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, former U.S. Ambassadors to Japan Walter Mondale and John Roos, Secretary of State John Kerry and other members of the Cabinet, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress.

The guest list also included fashion designer Chitose Abe; Miki Higasa, founder of Kaleidoscope Consulting; Hawaii Gov. David Ige and his wife, Dawn; Floyd Mori, former JACL national executive director, and his wife, Irene; David Nakamura and Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post reporters; Priscilla Ouchida, JACL executive director, and her daughter Elissa; Ellen Uchimiya, executive editor for CBS News in Bethesda, Md.; Keith Umemoto of the Democratic National Committee; actor/activist George Takei and his husband, Brad.

Representatives of the Japanese government included Ambassador to the U.S. Kenichiro Sasae, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and Defense Minister Gen Nakatani.



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