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PRSRT STD U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 746 Seattle, WA

VOL 33 NO 10

MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014


OLYMPICS Wrapping it up at Sochi » P. 9


Last day ditch

Helicopter photos courtesy of Hugh Doyle/US Navy

Father and pilot remembered and honored for heroics during fall of Saigon

Crew members of the USS Kirk wave off the Chinook Ba Nguyen was flying on April 29, 1975, as it was too heavy to land on the Kirk.

By Stacy Nguyen Northwest Asian Weekly In 2009, retired U.S. Navy Commander Paul Jacobs and Navy historian Jan Herman went on a Vietnamese

After evacuating his family and crew members on board the Kirk, Nguyen ditched the helicopter into the sea and survived.

television show in Virginia. They explained that they were seeking out a South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) pilot who ditched a CH-47 Chinook and survived, after transporting and unloading his family, passengers, and crew members onto the USS Kirk on April 29, 1975.

Program boosts minorities’ careers By Nina Huang Northwest Asian Weekly

Photo courtesy of EDI

The Executive Development Institute (EDI) of Bellevue is preparing for the next class of minority leaders in the Pacific Northwest region. Since 1994, EDI has proven its ability to develop culturally diverse leadership essential to organizations competing in the global marketplace. Under the guidance and direction of the Japanese American Chamber of Commerce, EDI was created because Japanese Americans were underrepresented in

In 2009, Miki Nguyen was at work when an e-mail from his mom, Nho, came through. “The e-mail—it was forwarded on, forwarded on, {see NGUYEN cont’d on page 16}

REVIEW: ‘Tiger Mom’ & hubby discuss new book

{see EDI cont’d on page 15}

2013 Asian Leadership Discovery Class 1

Hirabayashi medal comes home Photo by Sue Misao/NWAW


From left, Susan Carnahan, widow of Gordon Hirabayashi, along with his children Marion Oldenberg, Sharon Yuen, and Jay Hirabayashi, ceremoniously donate Hirabayashi’s Presidential Medal of Freedom to the University of Washington. Provost Ana Mari Cauce, Ph.D, right, accepted the medal for the university.


Gordon Hirabayashi’s heroic journey began at the University of Washington, where he was attending classes when the U.S. government ordered him and thousands of other Americans, singled out for their Japanese heritage, to obey curfews and be imprisoned in internment camps during World War II. He refused. “Ancestry is not a crime,” he later explained in an oral history to Roger Daniels, Charles Phelps Taft Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Cincinnati. Daniels

“Tiger Mom” Amy Chua defended her parenting memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother when it sparked off national and international debate in 2011, accusing readers of taking it too seriously and saying that it’s “supposed to be funny.” She’s come back roaring with a new book, co-written with her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, about the success of certain immigrant groups in the United States.

{see HIRABAYASHI cont’d on page 16}

{see CHUA cont’d on page 11}

The Inside Story NAMES IN THE NEWS Movers & shakers » P. 2

ON THE SHELF ‘Life at War’ » P. 7

DANCE Cloud Gate’s Seattle debut » P. 8

EDITORIAL Ambassador Locke’s impact » P. 11

412 Maynard Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 • t. 206.223.5559 • f. 206.223.0626 • • •

asianweekly northwest


MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014

■ NAMES IN THE NEWS Photo by Sue Misao/NWAW

Pricey foot-long is top dog

Smith is the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee and represents the 9th Congressional District that joins Bellevue, Newcastle, Mercer Island, and the Rainier Valley, with portions of South King and Pierce counties. 

Vietnamese New Year celebrated with mayor

From left, Rocky Yeh, Bearett Preston, Samson Kwong, and Eugene Woo make up the winning team at Tokyo Dog.

History was made Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Fremont Market when Tokyo Dog sold the world’s most expensive hot dog for a whopping $169. Co-owner Eugene Woo said he would send the paperwork to Guinness World Records, where the feat will be documented for all of posterity. The foot-long specialty smoked-cheese brat that put Seattle on the map boasts butter teriyaki grilled onions, maitake mushrooms, wagyu beef, foie gras, shaved black truffles, caviar, and Japanese mayo, all on a brioche bun. Saturday’s sale beats the current record of a $145.49 hot dog in California. Woo said he will donate the proceeds to the American Red Cross. 

Andreen keynotes business women’s symposium

Mayor Murray enjoys the lion dancing.

Mayor Murray attended the 2014 Vietnamese New Year Celebration at the Jumbo Seafood Restaurant in Seattle, hosted by the Vietnamese American Community of Washington State on Feb. 15. The program featured musical entertainment, traditional dragon dance, and an incense offering ritual. After remarks by the mayor, he was presented with a sacred lily meant to bring him good luck throughout his time in office. 

Photo by Benny Tran

Asians got talent at the UW

Scilla Andreen

On Feb. 20, the Women in Business Leadership Initiative (WIBLI) hosted the “Kickoff Symposium” at the Hyatt Olive. The event drew 150 women. Keynote speaker was Chinese American Scilla Andreen, an award-winning filmmaker and CEO of IndieFlix. Andreen addressed the issues of Seattle’s wage gap and shared her inspirational story of starting a membership-based streaming service that has become “one of the most meaningful global online platforms in the industry.” The program included a mother-daughter discussion with former Governor Chris Gregoire and Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire. The WIBLI Kickoff Symposium provides women opportunities to hear from and network with other female leaders. 

Srira-Cha-Cha won the Asian talent show at the UW.

Hip-hoppers Srira-Cha-Cha took first place in the 26th annual University of Washington Asian Student Commission talent show on Feb. 21, in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 750 people in Kane Hall. The talent show was started in 1989 to showcase the many talents, cultures, and interests of the Asian and Asian American community at the university. This year, 12 acts competed for the top prize of $500. 

Boeing delivers 777-300ER

Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Photo by Al Garman

Smith celebrates diversity

From left, Xiang Weiming, vice president and general manager of GE aviation, Zhang Zifang, chief operating officer of China Southern, Ihssane Mounir, vice president of sales for Northeast Asia, Commercial Airplanes, and Dong Suguang, executive vice president of China Southern cut the ribbon at the 777-300ER delivery. Congressman Adam Smith and Seattle Urban League board chair Nate Miles of Eli Lilly celebrate cultural diversity.

“Taste of the 9th” celebrated the diverse cultures of 9th Congressional District with Congressman Adam Smith on Jan. 22 at the Mount Baker Community Club. Ninety people attended the event, including leaders from the Hispanic, Asian, and African American communities. Entertainment included a performance by the Lieu Quan Lion Dance Team.

China Southern Airlines took delivery of its first of 10 777-300ER jetliners in a celebration and ribboncutting at Everett on Feb. 25. The airline said it plans to use its first 777-300ER to add a route from Guangzhou to the U.S. East Coast. The airline’s new 777-300ER is set up with four seating classes: four first class seats, 34 business class seats, 44 premium-economy seats, and 227 economy seats, for a total of 309 seats. 

■ briefly Free ESL classes for Bellevue residents Bellevue residents for whom English is their second language (ESL) are invited to attend free job preparation classes this spring at Bellevue College. Immigrants, refugees, permanent residents, and U.S. citizens are welcome to participate. “Preparing for Work” begins April 8 at 5:30 p.m. “On the Job Communications” and “ Working in English” both start April 12 at 9 a.m. Registration takes place on the first day of each class. More classes will be offered during the summer and fall. The classes are for Bellevue residents only.  For more information, visit prepforwork or e-mail Hima Rami at prep4work@



MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014

Nominations sought for 2014 National MED Week Awards

Know an outstanding local minority business? The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is accepting nominations for the 2014 National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Awards competition. The program celebrates and recognizes the outstanding achievements of minority entrepreneurs, as well as individuals and organizations that have demonstrated leadership and commitment in advancing the minority business community. “The MED Week Awards were created to recognize individuals and firms who exemplify entrepreneurial innovation and a commitment to creating jobs, while helping our nation remain competitive in the global economy,” said Alejandra Castillo, MBDA acting national director. “With nearly 6 million minorityowned businesses across the United States, we anticipate having a robust slate of candidates to choose from. We look forward to the opportunity to highlight some of these outstanding business leaders.” Award categories include minority-owned firms and champions

of minority business development, each with four specific awards. Nominations are also being solicited for the Abe Venable Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement, which recognizes an individual who has played an integral role in the progress of minority business development over the course of his/her life, and the Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals who have achieved significant results in expanding minority business enterprises and demonstrated exceptional leadership in the public or private sector. MBDA encourages nominations from chambers of commerce, business and trade associations, prime contractors, federal, state, and local government agencies, and individual business owners. Nomination packets for this competition must be postmarked by March 28. The winners will be announced on May 30, and honored Aug. 1, at an awards ceremony during the National MED Week Conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC.  For more information, visit

Get free help getting naturalized People who want to become U.S. citizens can get free help at day-long “Citizen Day” workshops being offered around the state. The Washington New Americans and the Washington State Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) will connect volunteer immigration attorneys, paralegals, and interpreters together with lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders) who are interested in applying for U.S. citizenship. Resources for preparing for the naturalization interview will be provided as well. The next Citizenship Day workshops will be offered on April 26 at Clark College in Vancouver, Central Lutheran Church in Yakima, Tacoma Community House in Tacoma, and Skagit Valley College in Mt. Vernon.

■ in memory of ...

All events will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. While the workshop is free, there is a $680 filing fee to apply for citizenship. If necessary, volunteers will assist eligible participants with fee waiver applications and loan information.  Visit for information on what to bring to Citizenship Day. For more information, see or call -877-926-3924. Mini-clinics, by appointment only, will be offered on March 8 in Walla Walla and May 31 in Everett.


Healthy food workshops for women

Got Green’s Food Access Team is hosting a free four-part workshop series for South Seattle’s women of color and low-income women. The workshops include free, healthy, home-cooked meals (come 30 minutes early for meals). The schedule is: · Saturday, March 1, from noon to 2 p.m. — Documentary film Food Stamped screening and community dialogue. · Tuesday, March 11, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — “Increasing Healthy Food Dollars for Low-Income Families.” · Tuesday, March 25 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — “What are GMOs and how do they affect my family?” · Thursday, April 3, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — “Cooperatives 101.” Kid activities will be available during the workshops. To RSVP or for more information, contact Tammy Nguyen at or 206-290-5136. 

Lisa Lani Chinn

Lisa Lani Matsukawa was shared her love of golf with atborn in Wahiawa, Hawaii. risk youth through the Bogey She was the daughter of Joe Bear Jr. Golf Foundation based and Florence Matsukawa of at Jefferson Golf Course in Aiea, Hawaii. She graduated Seattle, where, for more than from Aiea High School. She a dozen years, she tirelessly attended the University of recruited mentors, rustled up Hawaii and graduated from equipment, and organized the University of Washington. the annual fundraising golf Lisa fought a courageous battle tournament. In 2013, Lisa and with breast cancer and passed Lisa Lani Matsukawa Bogey Bear were recognized away on Feb. 20, 2014, at the by the Northwest Asian Weekly age of 53. with the Visionary Award. Her varied career included work as an Lisa loved entertaining family and advertising account executive, human friends at her Mercer Island home. She resources manager at Allstate Insurance decorated her house for the holidays and and Precor, real estate agent, and volunteer there was always an extra place at the table coordinator at the Japanese Cultural and for visitors. Everyone looked forward to Community Center of Washington. After hydroplane Sundays, Thanksgiving, and retiring from her full-time work, she also Christmas with home-baked cakes and helped her husband Keith in the family “Spam musubi” at Aunty Lisa’s house. construction business building, remodeling, She also enjoyed working in her garden and managing several residential properties. and traveling the world. Her pride and joy Naturally athletic, Lisa was varsity were her daughters, Lindsay and Haley, captain of the Aiea High School tennis and being a loving aunt to her nieces and team, which went to state. Her true passion nephews. was honing her golf game. She loved to play Lisa is survived by her husband, Keith various courses. Some of the highlights were Chinn, of Mercer Island; daughters playing both courses on the island of Lanai. Lindsay and Haley; parents Joe and She loved watching daughters Lindsay and Florence Matsukawa of Aiea; sisters Lori Haley play golf, softball, and volleyball Matsukawa (Larry Blackstock) of Bellevue at Mercer Island High School. She was and Liane Voss (Bruce) of Kailua; in-laws most proud of her daughters winning the Dickson and Nellie Chinn of Bellevue; Washington State 3A golf Championship, brothers-in-law Jeffrey Chinn (Joanie) and when they played in the Pro-Am “First of Redmond and Layne Chinn of Mercer Tee” golf tournaments at Pebble Beach. She Island; and six nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Lisa’s life is planned for Sunday, March 9, at 3 p.m. at Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 3001 24th Avenue South in

Seattle. Aloha attire. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bogey Bear Jr. Golf Foundation, P.O. Box 18825 Seattle, WA 98118. 

asianweekly northwest


MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014

■ national news

Chinese students lead police on high-speed chase in LA By Charles Lam OC Weekly

Photo courtesy of California Highway Patrol

Three University of California Irvine international students from China led California Highway Patrol on a wild ride around Los Angeles on the night of Feb. 20 during a pursuit that, according to CHP, broke 120 miles an hour and lasted about 40 minutes. Yuan Zhou, an 18-year-old Irvine resident and Chinese national, was arrested at approximately 9:15 p.m. after a CHP cruiser nudged Zhou’s white BMW 7 series sedan. The student had gotten his California license only two months prior. “I believe they’re all Chinese nationals,” CHP Sgt. Elizabeth Van Valkenburgh reportedly said following the arrest. The students caught CHP’s attention after passing a cruiser while headed northbound

Kim pleads guilty of leaking to Fox News Former senior adviser Stephen Kim agreed to a 13-month sentence in the case stemming from a report on North Korea’s military that he leaked to Fox News.

Stephen Kim

By Frederic J. Frommera By Associated Press WASHINGTON — A U.S. State Department expert on North Korea pleaded guilty Feb. 7 to passing classified information to a journalist. Stephen Kim has agreed to a 13-month sentence in a deal with prosecutors, pending a judge’s approval. Kim, who pleaded guilty to making an unauthorized disclosure of national defense information, faced a maximum of 10 years in prison had he been convicted of that charge. Prosecutors agreed to drop a second count, making false statements. If he had been convicted of both crimes at trial, Kim would have faced 15 years in prison, his lawyer said. Kim could be released in less than a year for good behavior. The case stems from a June 2009 story by Fox News journalist James Rosen. He reported that U.S. intelligence officials warned the president and senior U.S. officials that North Korea would respond to a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning nuclear tests with another nuclear test. Justice Department officials said Kim’s plea concludes the investigation and the prosecution of the case, which was scheduled to go to trial in April. Kim is scheduled to be sentenced on April 2. Kim, 46, who was born in Seoul, worked as a senior adviser for intelligence to the assistant secretary of state for verification, compliance, and implementation.

The material at issue in the Kim case came from an intelligence report that had been communicated to officials in the intelligence community, including Kim, on the morning that Rosen’s story appeared, according to an FBI affidavit for a search warrant in the probe. Under questioning from U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, Kim admitted that he “orally” disclosed the report to Rosen on North Korea’s military capabilities and preparedness. Kim was not authorized to disclose the report to Rosen or any other member of the media. Kim also agreed that he was not claiming he made the leak to expose waste, fraud, or abuse. Kim answered the judge’s questions in a soft but deep voice. The only time he veered from his script was when he described his legal team as “the best.” “How do you plead?” Kollar-Kotelly asked. “I plead guilty,” Kim answered. He then sat down at the defense table and took a sip of water. After the hearing, an emotional Kim hugged a supporter in a courthouse elevator. In a statement, Kim’s sister, Yuri Lustenberger-Kim, said that over the past four years, the government’s prosecution “has taken a horrific toll on my brother and our entire family.” “Our parents survived the atrocities, hunger, and poverty of World War II on the Korean Peninsula and then the Korean War,” said Lustenberger-Kim, described as a family spokeswoman. “Our parents lost their parents and family members and entire life’s belongings as refugees during the Korean War. We struggled with the illnesses of our parents and children, but nothing as wrenching as today’s decision.” The case has been especially controversial because the FBI affidavit characterized Rosen as a “co-conspirator” {see KIM cont’d on page 12}

on I-5, according to a CHP press release. Afterwards, they got onto I-10 and headed westbound, “weaving in and out of traffic, using the right shoulder to pass vehicles and driving at speeds up to 122 mph.” The car finally stopped on the Pacific Coast Highway. All three students are enrolled at UC Irvine. Zhou, the driver, is in a program that prepares international students to enroll in a full undergraduate degree program, according to UC Irvine spokesperson Laura Rico. The program includes ESL language classes, test prep, cultural education, and personal counseling. Zhou was not a completely lawless driver. During most of the “high speed” chase, he observed traffic lights, according to the CHP. {see ZHOU cont’d on page 12}

■ world news

Honda taps woman for board, promotes foreigner

Child care, housework are typical obstacles for corporate women By Yuri Kageyama Associated Press TOKYO (AP) – Honda appointed a woman to its board for the first time and gave a major promotion to a foreigner in signs the automaker wants to change perceptions of a hidebound corporate Hideko Kunii culture. Technology expert Hideko Kunii, 66, will join the board, and Issao Mizoguchi, a Brazilian of Japanese

ancestry, who has worked with Honda’s South American operations for nearly 30 years, has been appointed operating officer, Honda Motor Co. said Monday. The appointments need shareholder approval at a meeting set for June. Companies have come under fire within Japan for not promoting anyone other than Japanese men. Putting women in leadership positions is a pillar of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies to revive the moribund Japanese economy. Toyota has a foreigner on its board, American Mark Hogan, formerly of {see KUNII cont’d on page 13}

No release for three of Rajiv Gandhi’s killers By Ashok Sharma Associated Press NEW DELHI (AP) – India’s top court on Thursday stopped the Tamil Nadu state government from releasing three of the seven prisoners serving life sentences for the 1991 assassination of Prime Minister Rajiv former Prime Minister Gandhi Rajiv Gandhi, a lawyer said. The state ruled Feb. 19 that the seven should be released because they have served more than 20 years in prison. Critics immediately slammed the decision, calling it a transparent attempt to win over Tamil

voters in this year’s national elections. The federal government petitioned the Supreme Court on Feb. 20 to stop the state from freeing the prisoners, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying the move was “not legally tenable.” The court on Feb. 18 had commuted the death sentences for three of the convicts, after their lawyers argued that executing them now, after they had already served long prison terms, would amount to an unconstitutional double punishment. Rakesh Dwivedi, a lawyer for Tamil Nadu’s government, said the court’s order applied only to the three prisoners whose sentences had been commuted, and that the state was free to release the other four. The court asked the federal government {see GANDHI cont’d on page 12}


MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014

■ world news


China dispatches pollution inspectors amid bad air By Associated Press BEIJING (AP) – China’s environment ministry said on Feb. 23 that it had sent inspectors to Beijing and other areas of the country to inspect polluting industries and check construction sites amid a spell of severe air pollution. Twelve teams will inspect factories, including those producing steel, coal, glass, and cement, in Beijing, nearby Tianjin city, and neighboring Hebei province, as well as their surrounding areas, the ministry said. The teams will review the local governments’ responses to the bad air over the past few days, it said, adding that any violations found would be publicized.

The government is eager to bring about a visible improvement in China’s bad air, which has caused discontent among its citizens and tarnished the country’s image abroad. While heavily polluting industries have emissions standards, they are not necessarily enforced, and local governments often still favor pollution-intensive projects that can generate economic growth. Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, on Feb. 23 ordered 20 percent of private vehicles off the roads in urban areas based license plate numbers, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. On Feb. 21, Beijing raised its pollution alert to the

second-highest level for the first time, which meant some manufacturing plants had to suspend or reduce production, and that demolition work, barbecues, and fireworks were banned. The alert was still in place Feb. 23. Trucks were spraying Beijing’s roads, including in the financial district, as part of an increase in road cleaning. More people than usual were wearing masks. Xinhua said that almost all provinces in central and east China had had serious air pollution since Friday, and that Beijing and five provinces in northern and eastern China had reported “severe smog.” The National Meteorological Center said the pollution wasn’t expected to clear until Feb. 27. 

Admiral Nimitz’s WWII Japan plan has nuclear diary is posted online as key energy source By Michelle R. Smith ASSOCIATED PRESS PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The U.S. Naval War College released a trove of World War II information Monday by posting online the operational diary kept by the Pacific commander, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz Chester W. Nimitz, during the war against Japan. The 4,000-page multivolume collection includes a running summary of the situation for every day of the war in the Pacific compiled by Nimitz’s planning staff. It is the only known similar document to survive from the war, said Prof. John Hattendorf, who teaches maritime history at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. The Nimitz “Graybook,” named for the gray material in which it is bound,

is posted at Traffic was so heavy the first day (Feb. 24) that downloads of the document were inaccessible for several hours. A spokeswoman for the Naval War College said the problem was mostly fixed by that afternoon. The diary begins on Dec. 7, 1941, the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, with the line, “The war opened with the attack of Japanese aircraft on Oahu.” It goes on to list the locations of the Navy’s forces throughout the Pacific, the damage sustained that day, and what is known about the enemy’s position. Nimitz’s planning staff prepared a similar summary for him every day of the war. Unlike other commanders during World War II, Nimitz kept them, and the diary was found in his personal papers, Hattendorf said. It also includes supporting documentation for the summaries, including the orders {see NIMITZ cont’d on page 12}

Children become latest victims of Thai violence By Thanyarat Doksone Associated Press BANGKOK (AP) – The father grimaced and wept, as he struggled to contain his grief at the death of his two children in a grenade attack during a weekend trip to a mall in downtown Bangkok — the latest casualties in Thailand’s months of political crisis. “I’m asking and pleading to every side to let my children be the last case (of violence) on Thai soil,” Tayakorn Yos-ubon, 33, said, his voice shaking, before retrieving their bodies from the morgue Monday. Korawit, 4, and his sister Patcharakorn, 6, were not part of the anti-government demonstrations. They had piled into a three-wheeled “tuk-tuk” taxi, after eating at a KFC with their cousin and an aunt, when the attack occurred Sunday near a busy intersection occupied by the protesters. The siblings, along with a 5-year-old girl

who died Saturday in another attack on a rally site in the eastern province of Trat, are the first children to be killed in the country’s recent political unrest, which has claimed at least 20 lives and injured more than 700 since November. Police have not arrested any suspects in the weekend attacks. The Thai public has recoiled in shock over the children’s deaths, and yet there seems to be no sign that either side in the impasse is softening its position. City residents have braced for more violence. “We don’t know who did it, but it shouldn’t have happened to children, my children,” Tayakorn said. “I didn’t expect my kids to be brilliant. I just wanted them to be good people and to be able to get by in this society,” he added. “But this society, right now, is very cruel. Very, very cruel.” The children’s 9-year-old boy cousin {see THAI cont’d on page 13}

By Mari Yamaguchi Associated Press TOKYO (AP) – Japan unveiled its first draft energy policy since the Fukushima meltdowns three years ago, saying nuclear power remains an important source of electricity for the country. The draft, presented to the Cabinet for approval expected in March, said Japan’s nuclear energy dependency will be reduced as much as possible, but that reactors meeting new safety standards set after the 2011 nuclear crisis should be restarted. Japan has 48 commercial reactors, but all are offline until and unless they pass the new safety requirements. The draft of the Basic Energy Plan said that a mix of nuclear, renewables, and fossil fuel will be the most reliable and stable source of electricity to meet Japan’s energy needs. It did not specify the exact mix, citing uncertain factors, such as the number of reactor restarts and the pace of

renewable energy development. The government had planned to release the draft in January, but a recommendation submitted by an expert panel was judged to be too pro-nuclear. The new draft added slightly more emphasis on renewable energy. The draft says Japan will continue its nuclear fuel recycling policy for now, despite uncertainty at key facilities for the program, but added there is a need for “flexibility” for possible changes to the policy down the road. Japan has tons of spent fuel and a stockpile of extracted plutonium, causing international concerns about nuclear proliferation. Officials have said the most realistic way to consume and reduce the plutonium is to restart the reactors to burn it. The previous energy plan compiled in 2010 called for a boost in nuclear power to about half of Japan’s electricity needs by 2030 from about one-third before the Fukushima disaster. 

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Account Executives

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Publisher Editor Layout Editor/Webmaster

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The only weekly English-language newspaper serving Washington’s Asian community. The NW Asian Weekly has one simple goal: “To empower the Asian community.” The Editorial Board reserves the right to reject any advertisement, letter or article. Subscriptions cost $30 for 52 weeks of the NW Asian Weekly and $25 for 52 weeks of the Seattle Chinese Post. The NW Asian Weekly owns the copyright for all its content. All rights reserved. No part of this paper may be reprinted without permission. 412 Maynard Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 • t. 206.223.5559 • •

asianweekly northwest


MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014

■ COMMUNITY CALENDAR THU 2/27 WHAT: “When Citizenship Didn’t Matter: Personal Stories from Japanese Americans Incarcerated during World War II” talk by Tom Ikeda WHERE: The Evergreen State College Longhouse Cultural Center, 2700 Evergreen Parkway N.W., Olympia WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: Free INFO: 360-867-6000

FRI 2/28 WHAT: Reading by Filipino American poets WHERE: Wyckoff Auditorium, Seattle University, 900 Broadway, Seattle WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: Free INFO: 206-296-5620 WHAT: Reading of Mixed Blessings: A Guide to Multicultural and Multiethnic Relationships by Rhoda Berlin and Harriet Cannon WHERE: Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., Seattle WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: Free INFO: 206-525-2347

SAT 3/1 WHAT: Seattle Japanese Garden opening day, first viewing WHERE: 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E., Seattle, south end of the Arboreetum WHEN: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. (traditional Shinto blessing at noon) ADMISSION: $5–$10, under 6 free (photography exhibit of garden in the Tateuchi Community Room is free, 1–3 p.m.) INFO: 206-684-4725 WHAT: Workshop for women of color & low-income women on expanding food access issues, with showing of film, Food Stamped WHERE: Southside Commons, 3518 S. Edmunds St., Seattle WHEN: Noon–2 p.m COST: Free INFO: or 206-290-5136

SUN 3/2 WHAT: TAO: Phoenix Rising modern dance and drumming WHERE: Moore Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: $38–$45 INFO: 206-682-1414

TUE 3/4 WHAT: Reading of The Future of Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku WHERE: University of Washington Bookstore WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: Free

WED 3/5 WHAT: Fiona Dawn debuts new pop/rock album in Chinese and English, with DJ Hojo, Susy Sun, Phil Harmonic WHERE: Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle TICKETS: $7–$10 INFO: 206-709-9442

THU 3/6 WHAT: ISM - Western Washington Supply Management Conference

WHERE: McCaw Hall, Seattle Center WHEN: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. COST: $375 INFO:, aprils1@

THU 3/6 THRU THU3/8 WHAT: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan performs “Songs of the Wanderers” WHERE: UW Meany Hall WHEN: 8 p.m. COST: $43–$48 INFO: 206-543-4880

FRI 3/7 WHAT: “Karma & Loving Kindness” public talk by Tibetan Buddhist master H.E. Garchen Rinspoche WHERE: UW Kane Hall

Rm. 210, N.E. 45th & 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle WHEN: 7 p.m. TICKETS: $15–$20, event/530019 INFO: drikungseattle@ WHAT: Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” tribute with Lucy Wu WHERE: ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St., Kent WHEN: 8 p.m. COST: $20–$60 INFO: 1-866-973-9613 or

SAT 3/8 WHAT: Women of Courage: Bridging the Divide Gala WHERE: HUB Ballroom, UW Husky Union Building, 4001 Stevens Way NE, Seattle

WHEN: 6 p.m. DRESS: Cocktail attire TICKETS: $150 INFO: hzhudson@, 206-685-7570, womenofcourage2014

WHEN: 6–8 p.m. COST: Free INFO: or 206-290-5136

WHAT: International Women’s Day March and Rally WHERE: Pratt Park to Hing Hay Park, Seattle WHEN: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. INFO: pinayinfo@gmail. com

WHAT: The Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation Annual Dinner WHERE: Bates College, 1101 S. Yakima Ave., Tacoma WHEN: 5:30-8:30 p.m. INFO: 253-330-8828

TUE 3/11 WHAT: Workshop: “Increasing Healthy Food Dollars for Low-Income Families” WHERE: Southside Commons, 3518 S. Edmunds St., Seattle

FRI 3/14

WHAT: International Women’s Day: Sisters Stand Up to Political Repression and Mass Incarceration WHERE: New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle WHEN: 7 p.m. DOOR DONATION: $2 INFO: 206-722-6057,



MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014


Life at War Book recommendations

By Samantha Pak Northwest Asian Weekly


By Marissa Meyer Feiwel and Friends, 2014 The Lunar Chronicles continue in this third installment right where the previous one ended. New Beijing cyborg mechanic Cinder and Captain Carswell Thorne are now fugitives on the run from the law — both on Earth and on the moon. And joining the party are Scarlet, a young woman from France who recently lost her grandmother, and Wolf, a genetically mutated operative, formerly fighting for the other side. The outlaws are working together to overthrow Lunar Queen Levana, who has her sights on conquering Earth just as she has Luna (otherwise known as the moon). Her first step in world domination is to marry Emperor Kai of the Eastern Commonwealth. Cinder and the gang plan to stop her and their best bet lies with the book’s title character, Cress. Just like Rapunzel, the young Lunar girl has been imprisoned since she was very young, with a satellite acting as her tower and her netscreens as her only companions. Cress connects with Cinder and the others and they plan to rescue her. But things go sideways and the group is separated. As the group tries to come back together — no one knowing whether the others have survived — we learn more about the extent to which Levana has gone in her quest to take over the world. But despite the strength of her powers, we also see how her Lunar subjects stand up to her and resist her in small ways. In addition to jumping off the fairy tale of a longhaired girl trapped in a tower, Cress also shows readers the damage prejudices can have and how important it is to look

past our differences to see what connects us. As in the previous two stories, Meyer weaves fairy tale and fantasy with science fiction. With a little romance thrown in, this installment makes for an action-packed adventure, filled with mystery, danger, and excitement.

Three Years and Eight Months

Written by Icy Smith, Illustrated by Jennifer Kindert East West Discovery Press, 2013 When World War II hits Hong Kong in the early 1940s, Choi and his uncle, Kim, become separated from his mother, as Japanese soldiers round up people throughout the city. And thus begins the three-year and eight-month long story of a 10-year-old boy trying to live his life during wartime. With the dangers of war all around them,

Choi stays with his uncle, as they are the only family they have left. The two do not know if they will ever see Choi’s mother again or even where she was taken. Despite all this, life in Hong Kong continues. Choi and his uncle hear about villages that have been burned down as businesses around them close and food becomes scarce. Through it all, Choi befriends a boy named Taylor, who is half American and also separated from his mother. Taylor had gone home to visit family in California just before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The two also become unlikely friends with a Japanese soldier who gives them food in return for wood. While Three Years is a children’s book, the subject matter is serious, as it depicts the struggles of war and the bleakness that comes with it. This is one reason why I think this is an important story for children to know. Based on true events during World War II, young readers are introduced to a complex subject matter that is not always easy to understand. However, Smith simplifies things by focusing on one boy and how his life is affected. And while things may be hellish at times, Smith also shows how hard times are when people’s greatest humanity and compassion can

come to light — something we can all be reminded of from time to time. In addition to Smith’s compelling story, Kindert’s artwork helps to illustrate Choi’s story and what he and others in Hong Kong had to live through during the war.

In the Shadow of the Banyan By Vaddey Ratner Simon & Schuster, 2012

In April 1975, just days away from the Cambodian New Year, 7-year-old Raami’s world shatters, as civil war hits the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh and the Khmer Rouge forces everyone out of the city and into the countryside. Over the next four years, Raami faces tragedy after tragedy, starting with her father being taken away by the guerilla group and continuing with the death of {see SHELF cont’d on page 13}

King County Invitation to Bid Project: 2014-2016 Roof Repair Work Order, C00886C14 Sealed Bid Time/Date: 1:30 p.m., March 11, 2014. Location Due: King County Procurement & Contract Services Section, Contracts Counter, 3rd Floor, 401 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104 Engineer’s Estimate: $500,000.00 Scope of Work: Furnish all tools, equipment, materials, incidentals, superintendents, subcontractor coordination and overhead to perform Roof Repairs at any of the Wastewater Treatment Division facilities operated by King County. Roof repair work may include, but is not limited to coating, caulking, cleaning, skylight replacement, flashing, 3-coursing, seam and tear repair on single ply, hot mopped, torch down, cold applied, 3-tab, green roof, shake, metal and modified bitumen. Contractor must have the capability to: 1. Manage and coordinate the simultaneous day-to-day activities of two (2) work crews on roofs at multiple operating Wastewater Treatment Div. facilities Respond to requests for roof repairs 2. 24-hours per day Conduct roof repairs on short notice (within 3. 24-hours). The work performed under this Contract shall not exceed $500,000.00 and the initial Contract Time shall not exceed 365 calendar days from

the date of Contract execution by the County. The County does not guarantee any minimum amount of work or that the dollar amount of the Work Orders issued will total $500,000.00 during the duration of this Contract. At the County’s sole discretion, this Contract may be extended for one additional year or until the Not to Exceed Contract Price is reached, whichever occurs first. In no event shall the Contract Time be greater than two years from the date of Contract execution by the County. Contact Information: Mark Hoge, Contract Specialist, 206-263-9325, TTY Relay: 711, Fax: 206-296-7675, or A bidder may be asked to put a question in writing. No verbal answers by any County personnel or its agents and consultants will be binding on the County. Pre-Bid Conference: 10:00 a.m., March 4, 2014, 3rd Floor, 401 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104. No site tour. Subcontracting Opportunities: Coating, caulking, skylight replacement, cleaning, flashing, seam repair. Apprenticeship Requirements: No minimum Apprentice Utilization Requirement. SCS Utilization Requirements. The Contractor shall ensure that at least 5% of the total price for all executed work orders shall be performed by King County Certified SCS Firms over the life of the

Contract. Bid Guaranty: Not less than five percent (5%) of the Total Bid Price. Bid Documents Electronic copies of the plans, specifications, reference documents, and any addenda for this solicitation are available on the King County Procurement website shown below. Printed documents may also be ordered by contacting United Reprographics at 206-382-1177. Copies of documents are not available for purchase from King County, but are available for review 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., M thru F at the Contracts Counter: Chinook Bldg, 3rd Floor, 401 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104. To receive email notifications of addenda or other important information concerning this solicitation, you must register to be a planholder under the “Solicitations” tab at the following internet link: Website: procurement/solicitations This information is available in alternate formats for individuals with disabilities upon advance request by calling 206-263-9400, TTY Relay: 711. Notes: Bids received after Sealed Bid Time will not be considered. Bidders accept all risks of late delivery, regardless of fault. King County is not responsible for any costs incurred in response to this Invitation to Bid.

asianweekly northwest


MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014


Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan to make Seattle debut Songs of the Wanderers, a masterpiece of modern dance by choreographer Lin Hwai-min

Photo by Yu-Hui Hung

Photo by Hsieh An

Lin Hwai-min will accompany Cloud Gate to Seattle for its UW World Series (UWWS) engagement at the beginning of next month. “I am very excited that we will be able to bring choreographer Lin Hwai Min and Cloud Gate to Seattle for the first time,” said Michell M. Witt, executive director of Meany Hall and artistic director of UW World Series. “As Asia’s most acclaimed contemporary dance choreographer and company, it is a great honor to be able to have Mr. Lin and Cloud Gate in Seattle in a work that is particularly emblematic of the company’s aesthetic and values.” According to legend, Cloud Gate is the name of the oldest known dance in China, a ritual dance of some 5,000 years ago. In 1973, internationally renowned choreographer Lin Hwai-min adopted this classical name for the first contemporary dance company in any Chinese-speaking community. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan features a repertoire rooted in Asian mythology, folklore, and aesthetics with a modern sensibility. Its 24 dancers receive trainings of meditation, Qi Gong, an ancient form of breathing exercise, internal martial arts, modern dance, ballet,

Photo by Yu-Hui Hung

By Staff Northwest Asian Weekly

A monk stands still while a shimmering stream of rice grains shower his head.

Dancers move through their pilgrim journey.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan will perform three shows in March.

and calligraphy. Through Lin Hwai-min’s choreography, the company transforms ancient aesthetics into a modern celebration of motion, making “stillness as eloquent as animation.” Returning to the Northwest for the first time since Vancouver’s 2010 Cultural Olympiad, the company’s Seattle debut will feature Songs of the Wanderers, a “visually stunning work inspired by Siddhartha’s quest for enlightenment.”

During the show, a monk stands in a corner throughout the 90-minute performance, while a shimmering stream of rice grains “shower like a summer storm and waterfalls” onto his head, as dancers in ragged garb move slowly in a pilgrim journey.

206-543-4880, online at http://www.meany. org/tickets/?prod=6240, or in person at the UW Arts Ticket Office. Meany Hall is located on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. Discounts are available for students, seniors (65+), UW Alumni Association members, and UW employees. UW student tickets start at $10.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan performs at Meany Hall from March 6 through March 8, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $43 to $48, and may be purchased by phone at

Staff can be reached



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MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014


2014 Olympics wrap-up Final report from Sochi

By Jason Cruz Northwest Asian Weekly

medal. Certainly, this will give Kim more hunger to be ready for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Kim, who is just 23 years old, is adored by South Koreans and was the most popular subject on social media in the country after her performance. Kim thanked her fans for their support. One can only imagine what support she will have in 2018 in her home country.

Welcome to the third and final Winter Olympics report from Sochi, Russia. We wrap up the final events that occurred during the week, including a disputed upset in one of the marquee events of the Winter Olympics.

Controversy surrounds silver for South Korea’s Kim Yu-na

17-year-old Russian figure skater Adelina Sotnikova upset South Korea’s Kim Yu-na to win the gold medal in women’s figure skating. Despite the monumental pressure to perform on the biggest stage, Kim and Sotnikova put on the performance of their skating careers. Both skaters were perfect in their routine, but the judges determined that the Russian figure skater’s program was more technically difficult and thus awarded her the top score. With the close result came controversy as some fans of the popular South Korean skater were complaining of a fix. In fact, a petition on has more than 1.7 million signatures demanding an investigation of the judging. Certainly, having the Russian skater edging out Kim in front of her home country is a great boost for the host country. But, it also could be seen as suspicious. Kim took the silver medal in stride. The gold medal winner from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver critiqued her own performance at Sochi, stating that maybe motivation was a problem. In 2010, Kim said she “could die for gold in the Olympics.” Here, she did not feel the same. Women’s figure skating is one of the premier events

Chu leads U.S. Team in closing ceremonies

U.S. hockey member Julie Chu may have ended her Olympic career with a silver medal, but she was chosen by her peers as the bearer of the U.S. flag in the closing ceremonies. Chu was the veteran leader of the U.S. team and came just a minute away from winning the gold medal against Canada. As you may know, with the U.S. team up 2-0 late in the last period of the gold medal game, Canada came up with two quick goals to tie the score before the end of regulation. Canada scored a goal in overtime to win the gold. Chu gathered her team before the medal ceremony to offer support and encouragement going forward. The loss had to have been a kick in the stomach for Chu, as she has been denied the gold medal in all four of her Olympics. Regardless, she will be remembered as one of the most highly decorated Olympians in women’s hockey history with four medals (three silvers, one bronze).

Kim Yu-na

at the Winter Olympics. For such scrutiny, judging is subjective and while one judge may see one thing, another can see it another way. The good news is that Kim seemed unwavered by the judges and shrugged off the loss of the

Nominate for our next event “Amazing Female Mentors”

Celski wins silver in short track team event

Federal Way’s J.R. Celski won a silver medal as part of {see OLYMPICS cont’d on page 15}

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asianweekly northwest


MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014


■ publisher’s blog Winter Olympics not for Asian nations

Photo from Kristi Yamaguchi facebook page

Did you see there were few Asian countries participating in the Sochi Olympics? Well, most Asian countries are located in the tropics. They’d rather go for Summer Olympics — tropical sports. There were only 89 countries in the 2014 Winter Olympics, which was considered a record high, as opposed to over 200 countries in the Summer Olympics in

Kristi Yamaguchi

2012. The truth is, only the richer Asian nations, such as China, Japan, and South Korea, can afford to train their athletes for the Winter Olympics. Winter sports cost a

Ski equipment


fortune in training and equipment. Former Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi, who won her gold medal in figure skating for America in 1992, said it cost her family over $1 million for her training. The skates are expensive. A figure skating costume by a famous designer can cost more than $35,000. Notice the athletes need to have three new dazzling outfits to compete for the short, long, and exhibition shows. No athlete puts on the same costume during these programs. And oh, they couldn’t dress shabby for their practice either, as the reporters were watching and photographing. Their practice dresses looked just as stunning. Just to participate in the figure skating Olympics competition could cost over $100,000. That’s not including airfare and hotel. Take another winter sport like cross-

country skiing. The equipment, including skis, poles, gears, bindings, and clothes (jackets, boots, pants, face warmer, helmet, goggles, mask, gloves, socks, and beanie) are all necessary for the competition. The bill for these essentials is over $100,000. How can an Indian, Nepalese, Vietnamese, or Burmese citizen afford to foot the bill? The good news is that the next Winter Olympics will be held in an Asian nation, South Korea, in 2018. I suspect more Asian nations will be more prepared to join the games.

during the Olympics until the closing ceremony. Didn’t his aides remind him, “Smile, you are on camera! The world is watching!” President Putin, Russian President Putin you don’t have to look so angry, stuffy, and tense. You are not a general, but a leader. You are not dealing with spies at the Olympics. This was your opportunity to change the image of the old Russia, and showcase the new Russia’s positive aspects. You just killed a golden opportunity! Haven’t you learned anything from President Obama? Charisma can carry you a long way, win friends and even enemies, and cultivate surprising goodwill and influence. Every time Obama travels outside the United States, thousands come to see him. Obama knows how to charm. He projects what a 21st century leader should be. Mr. Putin, you really need an image consultant to soften you up or give you a makeover! 

President Putin, you need a makeover! Russian President Putin never smiled

Who stole the party? Ming Zhang, president of Mulvanny G2, celebrated his accomplishment and birthday at the Imperial Garden Restaurant, inside the Great Wall Mall, last Friday with many prominent guests. He was invited to join the prestigious America Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows AIA recently. Among the guests were Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, Bellevue City Councilman Conrad Lee, philanthropist Jerry Lee, Microsoft executive Harry Shum, and many other accomplished professionals. Due to popular demand, Zhang got up and sang karaoke. Shortly after, Z.Z. Wei, a world-renowned artist living in Seattle, whose work focuses on rural America, got up and joined Zhang — not to sing, but to dance. Wei just danced around Zhang, who didn’t have the faintest idea what to do. I have never seen the witty, playful side of Wei. It’s so refreshing to see Wei in person. His hands and fingers, face, gaze,

Ming Zhang and Z.Z. Wei

and mouth, combined with his dance steps of joy, exhilaration, warmth, curiosity, puzzlement, and wonder, illuminated his embrace of the moment for his friend’s success. Bravo, Z.Z. Wei! It really was the best part of the program. I had the fortune of sitting with him at the same table. With disbelief at what they saw, the audience applauded. Could it be the Chinese wine maotai had something to do with him bursting with such passion? 

T&T boss Very few Asian restaurateurs knew how to deal with the Seahawks’ Super Bowl success like T&T Chinese Restaurant. When the Seahawks played the Broncos on Feb. 2, business was slow for T&T. Everyone was watching the Super Bowl at home. So T&T bosses Tony and Teresa Man decided to close the restaurant for the whole afternoon to throw a party for their staff and watch the game. This was the first time I heard of a Chinese restaurant owner doing something for his employees, celebrating Seattle’s culture — namely

Andy and Teresa Man and family

a football game. What a way to boost the employees’ morale. Way to go, Andy! 

Want to get the inside scoop on the latest happenings of Seattle’s Asian American community? Follow Publisher Assunta Ng’s blog at under the Opinion section.


■ editorial

MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014



Gary Locke’s impact on China and America The future is wide open for Ambassador Gary Locke, who will be returning home from China in March. Never flashy, Locke seems to have spent his career steadily increasing his leadership positions without ever appearing to be power hungry. Locke is quiet, almost nerdy, and more concerned with achievable successes than flamboyant glory. It’s an admirable trait, and the Asian American community can hardly be blamed for harboring some pride in claiming him as one of their own. But then, Ambassador Locke is fully American, so you don’t have to be Asian to do that. Still. Locke’s achievements are numerous: distinguished Eagle Scout, lawyer, Washington State Representative, King County Executive, Governor of Washington state, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and U.S. Ambassador to China. It’s a long way from a childhood spent in a Yesler Terrace housing project. Has Locke’s time as Ambassador to China — the only Chinese American to ever hold that post — changed China’s perception of America? One of the most remarkable impressions the ambassador made on the Chinese was a photograph of him buying his own coffee and carrying his own backpack at Sea-Tac before flying off to Beijing. The image went viral in China, charming the common folk who are used to seeing public officials waited on for everything.

{CHUA cont’d from page 1}

Undersimplifying the experience of these groups by using three “unlikely” traits, one wonders if The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America is just more of her comedic show. The book explores why some cultural groups in the United States are more materialistically successful than others. Speaking at the Seattle Central Library on Feb. 12, the two attempted to argue their case in less than an hour, and the result was unconvincing. Chua and Rubenfeld stated that three personality traits contribute to the success of different immigrant groups: superiority complex, insecurity, and impulse control. Each immigrant group, they said, thinks that they have exceptional qualities that set them apart from the others, while at the same time feeling insecure due to these

Ambassador Locke made the cover of February's Chinese issue of Men's Health

“To most Chinese people, the scene was so unusual it almost defied belief,” Chen Weihua, an editor at China Daily, an official English-language newspaper, wrote. The image ignited a firestorm of comments about how out-of-touch privileged Chinese officials are with the real lives of ordinary Chinese people. The image was followed by a second one showing the Locke family carrying their own luggage at the airport in Beijing. “Perhaps it is time for Chinese dignitaries to follow the example of humble Locke,”

same qualities. On top of it all, they said immigrants maintain strong self-discipline. Chua and Rubenfeld proposed that these three traits create a recipe for success. What the authors failed to mention is that not all immigrants come to the United States with the same socio-economic background. It is ludicrous to view, for example, undocumented immigrants and high-tech professional immigrants through the same lens. The authors, who are both law professors at Yale University, acknowledged that the topic of the book might be difficult to bear because it “feels racially charged.” Indeed, an overwhelming amount of the criticism directed at the book accuses it of being reductive of the reality of immigrant groups. Time magazine pointed to the changing language of racism, which it stated to be the heart of The Triple Package, saying, “It’s not about skin color anymore — it’s about ‘cultural traits.’” Chua admitted she was expecting some “tough ones” in the audience, but said it was generally a “good crowd.” Afterward, long lines for purchase and signing of the book formed in the library’s Microsoft Auditorium. For the less convinced, Chua said, “It’s a complex book. We tried to show that [the book] is really good for generating academic success and economic success. But that’s not what life is all about… We try to offer an honest and nuanced view of success and its psychological underpinning and some of its costs. I think a lot of people want a simple how-to, but life is too complex.” Precisely. The complexity of the definitions of success, combined with one’s circumstances in life, is what makes The Triple Package difficult to bear.  Alia Marsha can be reached at info@

Weihua said. But Ambassador Locke has done some real work during his tenure. He looks at big issues, such as increasing Chinese investment in the United States and exposing the Chinese to Americanstyle democracy, then follows the trail of small details that will lead to his goals. He succeeded in reducing wait times for Chinese applying for visas to the United States from 100 days to just five days. In the past two years, he said in a recent interview, more Chinese investment has poured into the United States than in the previous 11 years combined. Locke’s appointment shattered the belief that many mainstream Americans have — that a Chinaman can’t be trusted to represent America. Locke was the first Chinese American to be a U.S. Ambassador to China. Before that, the Chinese community had a perception that the U.S. government wouldn’t trust Chinese Americans to deal with China, fearful that they would still be loyal to their ancestral land. There have been, after all, several Chinese Americans accused of and arrested for spying for China over the past few decades. After former Ambassador Jon Huntsman resigned, Locke was Obama’s first choice. The appointment has opened doors for Asian Americans. Soon after Locke’s appointment, a Korean American was

appointed to be U.S. Ambassador to South Korea. This is a big change in American government’s attitude toward Asian Americans serving the federal government. Locke has pushed the Chinese toward a better understanding of who an American is. Many were confused that this Chineselooking man, whose father was born in China and whose mother was born in Hong Kong, was not actually Chinese. He couldn’t speak the language. His loyalty was to America, not China. Yet his Chinese roots run deep and are meaningful to him. He has visited his ancestral village of Jilong several times and met with relatives there. The Chinese are learning that we can be proud Americans and proud Chinese Americans. Ambassador Locke did well by the Chinese people, while promoting American values. He kept China’s air pollution and human rights issues in the spotlight. The people have noticed, and the government has been forced to respond. Twice now Locke has given up positions of power to be able to spend more time with his family. During his second term as governor, he announced he would not seek a third term just for that reason. Last year, he gave the same reason for resigning the Ambassadorship. You can do a lot for your country in terms of public service, but maybe Gary Locke knows the best thing he can do for his country right now is to spend time with his family. 

asianweekly northwest


MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014

{KIM cont’d from page 4}

{GANDHI cont’d from page 4}

with Kim and said that there was probable cause to believe that the reporter committed a violation of criminal law. Law enforcement officials used the affidavit to search some of Rosen’s private e-mails. Investigators also tracked Rosen’s comings and goings from the State Department, linking those movements with Kim on the day of the leak. Rosen did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The State Department declined to comment. The disclosure of the FBI affidavit in the Kim case came after the Obama administration acknowledged secretly seizing portions of two months of phone records from The Associated Press, while investigating a different disclosure of government information. Following both cases, President Barack Obama said that the Justice Department would review the policy under which it obtains journalists’ records in investigations of the leak of government secrets. “Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law,” Obama said last May. In July, the Justice Department announced that it was toughening its guidelines for subpoenaing reporters’ phone records, and also raising the standard the government needs to meet before it can issue search warrants to gather reporters’ e-mail. The guidelines have not yet been implemented. In a Feb. 7 statement, Ronald C. Machen, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said that Kim “admitted to violating his oath to protect our country by disclosing highly classified intelligence about North Korea’s military capabilities ... As this prosecution demonstrates, we will not waver in our commitment to pursuing and holding accountable government officials who blatantly disregard their obligations to protect our nation’s most highly guarded secrets.” But Kim’s lawyer, Abbe D. Lowell, said that his client didn’t reveal any intelligence sources or methods. “The information at issue was less sensitive or surprising than much of what we read in the newspaper every day,” Lowell said in a statement. The case shows that the nation’s system for prosecuting leaks “is broken and terribly unfair,” he added. “Lower-level employees like Mr. Kim are prosecuted because they are easier targets or often lack the resources or political connections to fight back. Highlevel employees leak classified information to forward their agenda or to make an administration look good with impunity.” 

to file a separate petition regarding the fate of the four prisoners not covered by the Feb. 20 decision, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Gandhi, 47, was killed by an ethnic Tamil suicide bomber in Tamil Nadu in May 1991, as he campaigned for a return to the post of prime minister. Sixteen other people were killed in the attack. The assassination was orchestrated by Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels to avenge Gandhi’s decision to send Indian troops to intervene in the country’s civil war in the 1980s. Mohan Parasaran, the solicitor-general who argued the federal government’s petition against the release of the convicts, said he told the Supreme Court that the state government had no authority to free the prisoners. “The appropriate government to consider the grant of remission to prisoners is the federal government,” he told reporters. The court scheduled further arguments in the case to be heard on March 6. The state is unlikely to release any of the seven prisoners — six men and one woman — before then. Tamil Nadu’s government ruled on Feb. 19 that the seven should be released because they have served more than 20 years in prison. Jayaram Jayalalitha, the state’s top elected official, said if the federal government failed to respond to the decision within three days, she would release all of them on her own. The issue triggered noisy scenes when the lower house of India’s Parliament met Feb. 20, with lawmakers from the ruling Congress Party strongly protesting the state’s decision. The speaker adjourned the session for an hour to cool the tempers. Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Prime Minister Singh {NIMITZ cont’d from page 5} Nimitz received from Washington and elsewhere, intelligence information from other commanders, and exactly what his fleet units were doing. The entries run through Aug. 31, 1945, as the war in the Pacific came to an end. The diary was declassified in 1972 and is kept at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, making it accessible only to those who can travel there. Hattendorf said the project to digitize it, make the text searchable, and put it online

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will make it easier for scholars worldwide to study the diary and what Nimitz knew as he made command decisions. “We’ll really be able to understand in a much better way how Adm. Nimitz thought and the challenges he saw every day of the war,” he said. “It can be searched for particular information, when particular information was known by the commander, how we reacted to a particular change ... what the president was telling him.” Nimitz, who died in 1966, graduated from the War College and lectured there several times. The project was funded through the Naval War College Foundation. 

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{ZHOU cont’d from page 4} Zhou and his two passengers, Wangshuang Zhou and Lu Chen, were taken into custody, but only Zhou was arrested. The passengers were released, according to the CHP. Zhou was charged with felony evading and taken to jail. He was released on $75,000 bail on Feb. 21, and has a court date preliminarily set on March 21. 

formally asked the state not to free the convicts. “We have informed the Tamil Nadu government that their proposed course of action to release the killers of Rajiv Gandhi is not legally tenable and should not be proceeded with,” Singh said in a statement to the media. He said Gandhi’’s assassination was “an attack on the soul of India.” “No government or party should be soft in our fight against terrorism,” the statement said. Rahul Gandhi, the son of Rajiv Gandhi and Congress Party vice president, said he was opposed to hanging the convicts, but criticized the state’s decision to free them. His mother and the Congress party chief, Sonia Gandhi, said in 1999 that nobody should be hanged in the case. The seven convicts, who were among 26 people convicted of playing minor roles in the plot to kill Gandhi, are the only ones still in prison for the assassination. Some others died in prison or were released. While the convicts have been reviled across much of India, many ethnic Tamils in the south believe they were duped into taking part in a plot they knew little about. The people of Tamil Nadu have a strong affinity with Tamils living in northern Sri Lanka. With Indian national elections due to be held by May, two powerful state parties led by Jayalalitha and her rival, Muthuvel Karunanidhi, are eager to gain the support of Tamils sympathetic to the cause of Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka. Rajiv Gandhi’s mother, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated while prime minister in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards, after she ordered the Indian army into the Sikhs’ holiest shrine in the northern city of Amritsar to stamp out a separatist campaign. 

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■ astrology

MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014


For the week of March 1–March 7, 2014 By Sun Lee Chang Rat — Although the chance of hitting a home run the first time up is low, luck is on your side when it comes to finding what makes you happy.

Dragon — Although you have goals for the distant future, your energies will be best served by focusing on the immediate hurdles ahead.

Monkey — Growing impatient with how long it is taking for you to receive a much sought-after prize? It is true that good things really are worth waiting for.

Ox — Do you want to include more people in what you are doing, but aren’t sure how? All you need to do is ask.

Snake — Trying to decide whether to follow your head or your heart? The choice has already been made, but you are hesitant to accept it.

Rooster — Keeping up with the current trends can be fun. Just make sure that it doesn’t clash with your own style.

Tiger — You don’t need to do anything extraordinary to make a day with a loved one special. Just go with what feels right at the time.

Horse — It’s been quiet today and suddenly there is a rush of activity at the end. No fear, for you have been gearing up for this all day.

Dog — Resist the temptation to swoop in and rescue someone else’s project. They will get more out of it if they are able to fix it themselves.

Rabbit — Sometimes, a little subtlety goes a long way. While your message may not be loud, it will be clear.

Goat — Feel like you are of two minds today? There probably won’t be any giant strides made today, but that is perfectly fine while you are thinking things through.

Pig — Are you open to doing things in a new way? If so, then you might be fortunate enough to take advantage of an exciting opportunity.

What’s your animal sign? Rat 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 Ox 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 Tiger 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010 Rabbit 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 Dragon 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 Snake 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013 Horse 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 Goat 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 Monkey 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 Rooster 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 Dog 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 Pig 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

*The year ends on the first new moon of the following year. For those born in January and February, please take care when determining your sign.

{SHELF cont’d from page 7}

{KUNII cont’d on from page 12}

friends and family members — a far cry from the young girl’s privileged, royal upbringing. While Shadow of the Banyan is a work of fiction, the story is rooted in fact, depicting the many atrocities the Cambodian people faced while under the Khmer Rouge’s regime. Ratner also draws from her own personal experiences, having been 5 years old — and the daughter of a Cambodian prince — when the Khmer Rouge took the capital. I have read many stories — fiction and non-fiction — and have heard first-person accounts of this time from family and family friends, but not many were from the point of view of a child, especially one as young as Raami. Ratner does a great job of capturing the chaos and confusion of the time, which is all the more confusing for a young girl, when “you’re aware of so much, and yet you understand so little. So you imagine the worst.” Despite these hardships, Raami hangs onto the brightest part of her childhood, the mythical stories and poems her father used to tell. These tales give her hope and help her push forward. In addition to demonstrating the strength a child can hold, Ratner also shows how having a disability does not mean you are weak. When she was younger, Raami had polio, and as a result, walks with a limp. During her family’s exodus from the city, they are forced to get rid of her leg brace. While her physical limitations may be seen as a weakness, they do nothing to stop Raami from pushing forward and continuing to hope that things will get better. 

General Motors Co., but has yet to tap a woman, and it said it is not necessarily looking to promote a woman. Honda has cultivated an international image from its early years, as founder Soichiro Honda always had global acceptance as part of his vision for the company. It was the first Japanese automaker to open a vehicle assembly plant in the United States. But the addition of Mizoguchi, 54, as one of the top executives at headquarters, as well as the appointment of Kunii, a professor at the Shibaura Institute of Technology, is a high profile move for the company. Kunii studied at San Jose University before earning her doctorate in computer sciences from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. She previously worked for Japanese electronics maker Ricoh Co. and is now in charge of promoting gender equality at the university in Tokyo. Mizoguchi is senior vice president and director of Honda South America. Despite Abe’s prodding to promote women to corporate boards, Honda is the first major Japanese company to follow that advice. Honda officials stressed Kunii was picked because she was the right person for the job, not because of her gender.

Samantha Pak can be reached at info@nwasianweekly. com.

suffered brain and lung damage and is in intensive care. UNICEF on Feb. 24 called for the protest zones to be made “child-free” and urged parents to keep their children away. UNICEF “condemns the violence that resulted in these tragic and senseless deaths and injuries to children,” it said in a statement. The violence continued Monday night as a grenade was fired from an M79 launcher, apparently at the headquarters of the opposition Democrat Party, which is closely allied with the militant anti-government protest movement. Explosive ordnance disposal police Col. Kamthorn Auicharoen said there were no injuries, but a car was damaged. A police officer who was shot in the head during a clash with anti-government protesters last week also died Monday. The protesters, mostly representing the urban elite and those in the south, are pressing for the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. They want her to be replaced by an appointed interim government to implement reforms they say are needed to fight corruption and permanently remove Yingluck’s wealthy family from politics. Thailand has seen sometimes-violent political conflict since 2006, when then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s brother, was ousted by a military coup after being accused of corruption and abuse of power. Thaksin’s supporters and opponents have since taken to the streets for extended periods in an ongoing power struggle.

Have a story idea that you think would fit perfectly in Northwest Asian Weekly? We want to know about it. Send it to us at

Among Japanese companies, Nissan Motor Co., allied with Renault SA of France, has been the most progressive in promoting diversity. Still, it has yet to appoint a woman to its board. Asako Hoshino, a woman and management expert, is among the top Nissan executives, serving as corporate vice president. Nissan has three non-Japanese on its 12-member board, including Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn. Japanese society is expected to lose its potential for growth and innovation if it can’t do more to encourage women to enter the workforce, as its population is aging and dwindling. Women say the difficulties of finding proper childcare, as well as cultural expectations about women doing housework, make it tremendously difficult to pursue a career in Japan. The nation’s tax system encourages women to stay in poorer paying part-time jobs. The lack of role models in Japan also adds to the obstacles for women’s efforts to move up the corporate ladder. Boosted by the weak yen, also being realized under “Abenomic”’ policies, Japanese automakers see a great opportunity to grow overseas. In late 2012, Honda announced ambitious plans to double its global annual auto sales to more than 6 million vehicles in five years. 

{THAI cont’d from page 5}

Gen. Prayuth Chanocha

“What needs to be done urgently is for each side to talk and discuss, to make sure they will receive fairness and move toward a solution methodically and peacefully.”

Yingluck, who has strong backing from the rural poor majority, condemned the weekend attacks and said the country would suffer more pain if the two sides don’t negotiate. “It’s time we make an effort to talk together, and each side must stop turning away from the other,” she said, adding that she has a duty to remain in her job until a new government is chosen. The protesters have refused to negotiate. The country’s army commander-in-chief also urged a negotiated solution to the standoff, saying the military would not intervene despite the violence. “What needs to be done urgently is for each side to talk and discuss, to make sure they will receive fairness and move toward a solution methodically and peacefully,” Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said. In 2010, pro-Thaksin “Red Shirts” occupied part of Bangkok for two months and were assisted by their own armed militia. More than 90 people were killed in violent confrontations, with the army finally sweeping away the demonstrators. 

asianweekly northwest


MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014

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Photo by Luu CC

MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014

Photo by Luu CC

Photo by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC


J.R. Celski

Madison Chock and Evan Bates

Alex and Maia Shibutani

{OLYMPICS cont’d from page 9}

and taking pictures of one another. Unlike other bigger Olympic programs, members of the team held down regular 9 to 5 jobs, while training at night and on weekends. So, while we look at medal counts at the end of the Olympics, we must also think of athletes like the Japanese women’s team that exude the Olympic spirit of playing for each other and enjoying the moment.

vis and Charlie White dazzled the crowd and received the highest scores of the overall competition in grabbing the gold medal. They became the first Americans to win the gold in ice dancing. Felicia Zhang – Zhang and her partner Nathan Bartholomew finished 12th in pairs Figure Skating in Sochi. Despite not placing, Zhang told the media Felicia Zhang Nathan Bartholomew that she was satisfied with their performance, as the field was stacked with more experienced duos. 

the U.S. short track speed skating team in the 5,000-meter relay. The silver medal improves upon the team’s bronze medal performance in 2010. Celski was on that team as well. Celski did not win an individual medal in these games — unlike the bronze he won in the 1,500 meters in Vancouver — but at the age of 23, it’s likely he has another Olympics in him in 2018.

Japan’s hockey team wins hearts of Olympics, not medals

While the Japanese hockey team did not win any medals in the Sochi Olympics, their surprisingly close losses during their games were considered moral victories for the team. Given the nickname, “Smile Japan,” the team was an unexpected qualifier to play at the Olympics. Despite losing, they made the most of the games. During one of their practices, the team spent some time goofing around

{EDI cont’d from page 1} corporate America’s key leadership positions — positions from which the most critical and influential decisions were made. EDI currently offers two leadership programs. Leadership Discovery, which begins March 17, is geared toward emerging leaders. Leadership Navigation, which starts March 20, is a second-tier program that focuses on individuals in management positions. After 30 years at the Center of Career Alternatives, Alan Sugiyama joined EDI as its executive director last January and already has big growth plans for the organization. EDI has received several requests from other minority groups, including the Native Americans and African Americans, who have expressed interest in the programs. Sugiyama said the institute is considering it. He also hopes to start the Navigation program in Portland and spread the program out to smaller companies in the Northwest region. The Hispanic program, which also starts March Alan Sugiyama 17, was launched in 2009. Like the Navigation program, it has generally been a smaller class, but it is definitely growing, said Sugiyama. Participants come from various backgrounds in engineering, science, business, and others. Sugiyama explained that the Discovery program, which is the signature program,

How did API U.S. athletes do at Sochi?

At the beginning of the games, we gave you a rundown of some of the APIs that were competing in Sochi. Here is a list of the athletes and how they did: Madison Chock – Chock and her partner Evan Bates finished 8th in the short and free dance competitions in the Ice Dance Figure Skating competition. Alex and Maia Shibutani – The brother/sister duo competed in the same competition as Chock and Bates. They finished just behind them in 9th place. Although Chock and the Shibutanis did not medal, their teammates Meryl Da-

Jason Cruz can be reached at info@nwasianweekly. com.

“EDI has allowed me to make sure my voice is heard, and that I make every effort, even if there’s a risky opportunity, that I will go for something that will help me better my skills and be a greater role model in the community.” — Elaine Kitamura

helps people who desire to be leaders. It also helps them understand how being Asian American can affect them in different ways, he said. In 1989, Sugiyama became the first Asian American elected to the Seattle School Board. “I had to stretch out of my comfort zone to run for a position that was city-wide. You really have to put yourself out there and take a risk. We are saying the same things to our participants, so they can move out of their comfort zone.” Sugiyama and his team manage and set the curriculum for the year. They have professional speakers and trainers teach the classes, which are set up in a way that they build on each other. For example, the founder of a leadership program called LEAP in Los Angeles, J.D. Hokoyama, led a class on teamwork in the past. In addition to the set curriculum, participants must work on a community “give-back” project together. In previous years, participants have helped a local food bank improve check-in processes,

train staff, and computerize its systems. From the Hispanic group, one of the participants worked on a marketing project for the Sea Mar golf tournament. The proceeds go to scholarships for migrant workers. The EDI graduate had been one of the recipients of the scholarships from Sea Mar. It had become a full circle experience for her through EDI. Sugiyama explained that community partnership at EDI is an important part of the program. It’s not just about helping the participants, he said. It’s also about helping them move up on the ladder, so they can give back to the community that supported them. For instance, the first minority president of the downtown Rotary, Paul Ishii, has connected EDI with the Rotary. This past year, the service organization offered a special opportunity to all EDI graduates and current participants with free memberships for their first year, worth $1,200. Employer support has been key to EDI.

Ninety-five percent of the students who participate in EDI receive support from their employers’ continuing education assistance. Julie Pham, 2010 EDI graduate, was able to take advantage of the scholarship opportunity through her membership in NAAAP (National Association of Asian American Professionals). She said it was a great way for her to gain corporate leadership training that she didn’t have access to at her previous job. One of Pham’s fondest memories of EDI was a rock climbing session. “When you climb a wall, you’re not always climbing straight up. You have to move left and right before you can move up again,” she explained. In addition, Pham said that the networking really helped her to meet instrumental people in her career. Elaine Kitamura, 1996 EDI graduate, said that EDI teaches people how to work and collaborate successfully on a team. “EDI has allowed me to make sure my voice is heard, and that I make every effort, even if there’s a risky opportunity, that I will go for something that will help me better my skills and be a greater role model in the community,” Kitamura said. Kitamura, who now works with the state government and does advocacy engagement work for Clear Channel Outdoor, said she has always felt it was important for her to provide guidance and support to future community leaders and APIs. Graduating from EDI has helped her continue her passion to give back to the community, she added.  For more information, visit www.ediorg. org. Nina Huang can be reached at info@

asianweekly northwest


MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014

forwarded on,” said Miki. “In the e-mail, it said the U.S. Navy was looking for this pilot that performed this ditch. … I read the e-mail all the way to the bottom and was thinking, ‘What?’” Miki, who currently lives in Redmond, was only 6-and-a-half years old when his family escaped Vietnam after the fall of Saigon. Now a father with three children of his own, he still remembers many things vividly from that day nearly 40 years ago. He responded to the e-mail and within minutes, he was sent photos of the Chinook above the Kirk, of the Chinook’s rotor blades exploding in the water after the ditch, and of his dad, stripped down and wet in a shirt and underwear, sitting in a small rescue boat among crew members of the Kirk. Miki described getting the photos as exciting, though eerie. He and his family suddenly had tangible evidence of a part of their lives that had previously only been contained in their memories.

Humble beginnings, loss of country

Miki’s father, Ba Van Nguyen, was the eldest of a large brood, born into a farming family in the countryside, on the outskirts of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Ba grew up tending cows and oxen. That would’ve been his life story if not for his mother. “It was her will — her determination — to raise her family above and beyond being simple farmers. She did everything she could to put all her kids to school and moved to the main city (Saigon).” In his youth, Ba witnessed the end of the First Indochina War, which saw France, Vietnam’s colonizer, driven out of Vietnam primarily by the Viet Minh, the communist independence-seeking coalition formed by Ho Chi Minh. Vietnam was partitioned on July 21, 1954, split geographically and along political ideologies. The tensions spilled right into the Second Indochina War, better known in the West as the Vietnam War. Ba joined the South Vietnamese Air Force. He received formal training in the United States in 1962. “I grew up on a military base,” said Miki, “at Bien Hoa [Air Base], about 45 minutes south of Saigon. I grew up playing around in the barracks. It was just a common everyday thing to see military guns and big bullets where we were at. I remember flying with my dad, going on these helicopters.” At the end of April 1975, the fall of Saigon — the end of the war — was imminent. North Vietnamese forces attacked the capital and seized control. The city suffered heavy artillery bombardment. Tensions were thick in the days leading up to the capture of the city. U.S. military and civilian personnel and tens of thousands of South Vietnamese civilians were evacuated from the city. Ba waited for a significant amount of time before escaping. It was a complicated decision. “But he said, hey, I have to take care of my family now. I can’t wait around for additional orders from the military,” said Miki. Ba sent his wife, Nho, to his mother’s house in Saigon and had her wait there with the children. He told her that if she hears

Photo courtesy of the Nguyen family

{NGUYEN cont’d from page 1}

Ba Nguyen is reunited with members of the USS Kirk who were on board the day of his rescue. Here, he shakes the hand of Kent Chipman, of the U.S.Navy, as Ba’s mother, sister, and an NPR reporter look on.

The morning of April 28, 1975, Miki heard the loud rotors of his dad’s Chinook kicking up wind. This sound came after a night of hearing bombs drop onto the city. “By that time, my dad heard on the radio that basically all military personnel on the South Vietnamese side — they all ran. There was no more chain of command. It had broken down. … By that time, it was chaos. My dad used to say by that time it was like the Wild West — every man for himself. You had your horse, and you rode off with it.” Ba took a Chinook, which, like most helicopters at that point, had been ravaged. It was low on fuel and low on supplies. Ba, a co-pilot, and several crew members went around getting family and loved ones, to get out of the hot zone. There were about 15 to 20 people on the plane. Even in 1975, Saigon was densely packed. Landing a Chinook proved difficult, but there was a small soccer field in front of Ba’s mother’s house. “My immediate family all ran out. My dad’s brothers and sisters didn’t know what to do, but my mom had to be with her husband. My aunts and uncles didn’t know what their lives were going to be, so they reluctantly stayed.” The next morning, on April 29, after reconvening at Bien Hoa, Ba flew the Chinook south. He had heard U.S. radio communications and knew that U.S. ships were on the ocean. He decided to take a chance and head out to sea, where, extremely low on fuel, they found the Kirk.

care not to show signs of aggression, as the crew members on the warship held guns. He hovered and circled a few times, giving them the indication he was low on fuel and needed their help. Taped on one of the Plexiglas portholes of the helicopter was a photo of his daughter, Miki’s sister Mina, who was less than a year old at the time, to let the American personnel know that there was a baby on board. Initially, the crewmembers of the Kirk waved the Chinook away. The Kirk was a small ship with one flight deck. Trying to land a Chinook, which was the largest helicopter in the South Vietnamese inventory, would’ve been disastrous. Eventually, the crew waved the Chinook in. The wind, the waves, the noise was oppressive. It took considerable skill on Ba’s part, and faith on the part of the Kirk’s crew, to hover the Chinook over the fantail of the ship. The Chinook was about 13 feet above the deck, enough for its rotors to clear the Kirk. “My dad told a co-pilot to open the passenger side door. I looked down and there were a bunch of crew men below ready to catch us. So we jumped.” “My mom basically had to drop my baby sister,” Miki said. “The guy below caught my baby sister. … It was really difficult for my mom. She was holding onto to the door in one hand. Then she jumped, then my baby brother, then I went — and on and on. Then finally the co-pilot gave my dad a thumbs-up. So my dad told his co-pilot to take a hike and his co-pilot jumped, too.” The crew of the Kirk ushered the refugees inside the ship as Ba, low on fuel, with nowhere to put the Chinook, flew the helicopter in the other direction. “As a 6-and-a-half year old boy — the last thing I saw before the door closed behind us was my dad flying away. The crew took us down into the ship to make sure we were OK.” It was about 2:51 p.m. It was another 20 minutes before Miki saw his dad again. “What happened in those 20 minutes was amazing.”The events that transpired were recorded by Hugh Doyle, chief engineer of the Kirk.


The ditch

him coming, be ready. The U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam gave orders for the evacuation of 7,000 at-risk Vietnamese by helicopter — Operation Frequent Wind. Over the next two days, Americans transported South Vietnamese citizens out to sea around the delta of the Saigon River and boarded them on waiting ships. Among these ships was the USS Kirk (FF-1087), which was a small warship designed to hunt submarines — not a vessel meant to carry out humanitarian missions.

Escape to sea

Ba approached the Kirk slowly, taking

This is a story that Ba has told and retold

{HIRABAYASHI cont’d from page 1}

Gordon Hirabayashi’s Presidential Medal of Freedom

was on hand to share what he knew of Gordon Hirabayashi as a young man. Student, prisoner, activist, professor, and, finally, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the symbol of Hirabayashi’s heroism found a permanent home on Saturday, Feb. 22, when his family donated his Medal of Freedom to the University of Washington. He had been given the award by President Obama in 2012, four months after his death. On Saturday, his family gathered at the UW for a day-long symposium called “Courage in Action: A Symposium on the Life and Legacy of Gordon K. Hirabayashi,”

to his friends and family over the years. “What he did was he went about 50 yards out,” said Miki. “He took off his jacket, his gun, his gear. He basically went down to his shirt and underwear and hovered the Chinook a few feet off the water. He kicked the door open on his left hand side, with the helicopter stick in the middle. He used his right leg to push the stick so the copter would lean right, and he leaned left. The Chinook flipped to its side and my dad dropped out in the opposite side, into the water, so that his head wouldn’t get chopped off. He tried to dive a few times until he was successful (because of salt water buoyancy).” The Chinook’s blades exploded into shrapnel when it hit the water, with some sharp pieces as long as 15 feet. The helicopter settled on top of where Ba was . That was why it was imperative to dive deep. Miki reports that pilots had attempted that ditch before, but none had survived. Ba resurfaced and saw a raft heading toward him with Kirk crew members. They asked him a few questions. Twentyfour hours later, on April 30, they were transported to a larger ship. Soon after that, they landed in Camp Pendleton in San Diego. In the two days preceding the fall of Saigon, the Kirk saved about 200 refugees. The ship eventually went on to save 20,000 to 30,000 refugees in total. Ba and his wife both ended up working at Boeing, Ba as a technician. When he got older, he told his son he didn’t miss flying. He never caught the names of the Kirk crew members. They never got his name either. Over the years, Ba wondered about them — mostly, he wanted to thank them — and he got the opportunity in 2009, when Miki connected with the U.S. Navy. By that point, though, Ba had been ill with Alzheimer’s for a few years and struggled with lucidity.

A reunion

Ba passed away last year — with a certain kind of closure. In summer 2010, 35 years since they first met, Ba and his family attended a reunion, held in a suburb of Washington, D.C., of the USS Kirk crew members, including the excaptain of the Kirk, Capt. Jacobs. By then, Ba was in a wheelchair and his Alzheimer’s was bad, according to Miki. The Kirk crew members honored Ba with an Air Medal for his bravery in saving his family and crew. The Nguyen family did their best to express their thanks in Ba’s stead. “So, toward the end, it got really emotional,” said Miki. “We don’t know exactly what happened, but something was triggered in my dad. He was sitting in his wheelchair. He actually pushed himself up above his wheelchair. And I’m thinking, ‘What is he doing? Sit back down.’ But he nudges me out of the way. He stands up among his, you know, brothers, and he gives a salute to everyone, as if to say, ‘Thank you.’”  The Nguyen family’s story was featured among other stories in Rory Kennedy’s documentary, “Last Days in Vietnam,” which premiered at Sundance on Jan. 17. Stacy Nguyen can be reached at info@

during which more than 200 people watched as UW Provost Ana Mari Cauce accepted the medal from Hirabayashi’s family. “He would be pleased to have it at the University of Washington,” said Hirabayashi’s widow, Susan Carnahan, who was joined by Gordon’s son Jay Hirabayashi and nephew Lane Hirabayashi in sharing details about Gordon’s life and legacy. Judge Mary Schroeder, who, in 1987 authored the opinion in Hirabayashi v. United States that vacated Gordon Hirabayashi’s conviction, called him courageous and gutsy. “He was thoroughly American,” she said.  Sue Misao can be reached at

VOL 33 NO 10 | MARCH 1 – MARCH 7, 2014  
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