VOX POPULI: The Sale of Keiro — What Did We Learn? The State of Rafu Shimpo

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fukuharaBy RICHARD FUKUHARA

I can’t speak for you, but I’ve learned the Japanese and Japanese American community spirit can be strong and supportive of what it feels is important to its community and culture.

For example, the large volume of articles covering the stances in support of or against the sale of Keiro that were written in The Rafu Shimpo. I was amazed to read that individuals wore red to Keiro protest meetings as a sign of “war” against the Keiro Board members who sold Keiro. It was great to learn of young and old coming out and to read that the Ad Hoc Committee brought out the “big guns” (Reps. Maxine Waters and Judy Chu and many other political leaders) to speak out against the Keiro sale.

My question is: Didn’t anyone read the Rafu articles that appeared months before the Keiro final sale announcement? Weren’t these articles an indication of a future Keiro sale?

“Vox Populi: A Doctor’s Perspective on the Sale of Keiro,” posted on Feb. 12, 2014

“State Attorney General Rejects Proposed Sale of Keiro to Ensign,” posted on Oct. 15, 2014

Now, back to the point. What did we learn? The old cliché “the handwriting is on the wall” has been written in the form of the headline The State of The Rafu Shimpo,” Saturday, March 26, 2016. Are we in the Japanese and Japanese American community going to wait until after The Rafu closes its doors in December to start wearing red and start a campaign to “Save Rafu”? The loss of The Rafu Shimpo would be a tragedy beyond comprehension!

Where could we read about the community events such as the great coverage of Nisei Week, JACCC, JANM, Nikkei Games, Tanabata Festival, Go for Broke, 442, Love to Nippon, JASSC, JAO, OCO, OCJAA, SEYO, Nanka Kenjinkai Kyogikai, “Women of the Year,” and much, much more? Do we honestly think The L.A. Times would send out reporters and photographers to cover Japanese and Japanese American events?

On a personal note, as a photojournalism major in college I covered numerous events for The Long Beach Press-Telegram. It is not always an easy task to travel great distances to gather all the information, come back to the office, sort through notes and photos, write captions, and accurately report events. Therefore, I have a great affinity to the short-handed English and Japanese section Rafu staffers. To the English section staffers (Gwen, Mikey, Jun, Mario, J.K. and others), the Japanese section staffers, and the Komai Family Trust, I applaud them all for their commitment and professionalism.

I hate when I hear people tell me that they go to their mother’s or grandmother’s home to read The Rafu. For the cost of three Starbucks lattes a month, we can keep informed and take pride in our Japanese and Japanese American community.

Let’s not wait until January to wear red and join a committee to “Save Rafu.” It is now time for us to bring out the Japanese and Japanese American community spirit and support The Rafu Shimpo and thank them for 113 years of commitment to our community by subscribing to either the printed paper or online. www.rafunews.com.

Richard Fukuhara is an artist/community activist. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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