|The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) objected to a statement by Ohio lieutenant governor, Lee Fisher, that criticized Japan for placing barriers on American car sales in a Japanese incentive program similar to the "cash for clunkers" program in the United States.
In a press release, Fisher said, "The exclusion of American autos from Japan's domestic Cash for Clunkers Programs is outrageous..." and that "...when Japan created its own sales incentive program it erected barriers making it nearly impossible for American cars to qualify."
In a letter to Fisher, Ronald Katsuyama, JACL vice president for public affairs, chided the statement as "misleading and irresponsibly inflammatory." Katsuyama raised the specter of the 1982 killing of Vincent Chin, when during a time of economic distress, two Detroit autoworkers violently murdered Chin, mistakenly believing that he was of Japanese descent. "In this troubled economic time with high unemployment," Katsuyama added, "the JACL is concerned that simplistic accusations of unfair trade practices against Asian countries can induce anti-Asian sentiment at home and worse, violence against our Asian Pacific American residents,"
The JACL has asked that Fisher retract his accusatory statements and, in future discussion of foreign trade issues, engage in more balanced, informative and productive discussions.
Click here to read Mr. Katsuyama's letter