President Trump: Japanese-Americans, Japanese in U.S. weigh in

by and

Staff Writers

Many Japanese-Americans and Japanese in the U.S. are disappointed by Donald Trump’s election to the presidency and fear America will become less tolerant of ethnic minorities, according to a survey by The Japan Times.

The survey, conducted mostly by email, found that many people were concerned about the class and discrimination issues brought up during the divisive U.S. campaign.

Wrentaro Howell, a Japanese-American college student who lives in Atlanta, is worried the United States will become less culturally diverse.

“There will be deeper divisions among racial lines, between the rich and poor, the educated and the uneducated. Trump has alienated too many people to his presidency that I doubt that those who he offended will be able to form a meaningful coalition with him,” he said.

“The most disappointing thing is that there is still a large part of the white community that still believes that America is a nation by white people and for white people. The popularity of Trump makes it incandescently clear that we have still yet to break down the myth of a post-racial America.”

Another Japanese-American, Ryan Yokota, 44, who has researched Okinawan history at the University of Chicago, said U.S.-Japan relations will suffer, given Trump’s previous comments calling for Japan to pay more for the cost of hosting U.S. troops.

He added that, given Trump’s past remarks, it will be difficult for America to come together.

“He has insulted and alienated every element of American political society, particularly in terms of women and minorities, and threatens to upend some of the strongest international economic and political alliances in favor of protectionism and insularism,” Yokota said.

His sense of anxiety was also shared by at least one Japanese expatriate.

“As a minority woman living in the U.S., I am horrified that a figure who perpetuates racism and misogyny now stands in such a powerful position,” said Ayaki Kimura, 21-year-old student in Atlanta who has lived there for three years.

“If I had had the chance to vote, I would definitely have voted for Clinton rather than someone like Trump, who speaks only to the interests of a small, privileged demographic,” she said.

Meanwhile, Sandra Naoko Roam, 52, from Tennessee, said she voted for Trump because she wanted to be “proud of my government” once again.

“I’m happy about the results, however I’m a bit scared.” she said. “I want to feel somewhat secure and time will tell.”

Shiina Yamada, 33, who lives in Austin, Texas, said she was “more terrified than anything” about being a member of a sexual minority under a Trump presidency.

“I am a queer Japanese-American living in the South. I was planning on proposing to my partner in the next few months, but we are now considering elopement to secure our right to marry before that right could be taken away from us,” she said.

Some Japanese-American respondents compared Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the United States to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Between 1942 and 1946, more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry — many of them U.S. citizens — were locked up in internment camps in the central and western parts of the U.S. because they were considered potential enemies.

Last year, when he was asked whether he would have supported that decision, Trump said that he hated the idea of internment camps but could not give an honest answer without having been there at the time.

“This is especially alarming given that a federal commission found that the root causes of our wartime incarceration were wartime hysteria, racial prejudice and a failure of political leadership,” said Kenji Taguma, 47, editor-in-chief of Nichi Bei Weekly in San Francisco. “To even question the merits of that wartime decision is rather shocking to the Japanese-American community.”

Gwen Muranaka, the English editor of Rafu Shimpo, a Los Angeles-based newspaper for the Japanese-American community, said by telephone that one thing the community must do now is to shed light on the plight of Muslim-Americans, who could be most severely impacted by Trump’s ascent to the presidency.

“Since 9/11, the Japanese-American community has seen a parallel with the treatment of Muslim-Americans and what happened to us during WWII,” she said. “So there are a quite few in our community who feel that it is our role to bring attention to that.

“People are very upset and there’s a period of mourning, but I think people will regroup and contribute to our democracy. What else can we do?”


The full answers of survey respondents:

Japanese-Americans

Irene Tanabe, 65
Honolulu, Hawaii
Minister

I voted for Clinton. She is the most qualified person we have ever seen run for the presidency. She has been in public service for several decades, and her commitment to our country and its values is to be admired and respected. She is smart and focused and has all the qualities we would want in a world leader.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
Disappointed beyond words. Donald Trump is not qualified to lead our country. He is extremely limited. He lacks discipline and character; judgment and morals. He is driven by his own needs, and not the needs of the country or the global community.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
It will deteriorate. He has neither the ability or the will to understand U.S.-Japanese relations, and will make rash decisions without regard to the consequences.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
The market is in turmoil and has affected my retirement funds. I cannot count on health care. I fear being the target of racism. I fear erosion of my constitutional rights.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I hope centrist democrats and republicans will form a coalition to keep the president’s power in balance, but I don’t know that their is a solution to the free form anger short of violence.

I hope that Japan can learn a lesson from Brexit, and now Trump. Japan must guard against racism and elitism. The populist uprising reminds me of Japanese film like “Seventh Samurai” where the oppressed farmers band together against the powers that be. It’s important to hear the voices of those feeling powerless, or at the very least to acknowledge that there is another point of view. When I visit in Japan, I am aware of a tension that is unexpressed and yet leaks out in the little acts of anger I see here and there. I don’t know where it comes from, only that I feel it. I also know that Japan is not only resilient but can do anything it sets out to do — recovery from wars and natural disaster — there is no where I would rather find myself in the event of an apocalypse. In a world that sees blessings as a limited good, in the attitude of scarcity, what can Japan do to show the world another way of being? Japan, this is your opportunity.


Ryan Yokota, 44
Chicago, IL
University Instructor

Who did you vote for?
Hillary Clinton. I felt that she had the experience, commitment, and level-headedness to be a good president. Though I had reservations about her international positions, I felt that she had the diplomatic experience to strongly advocate for U.S. interests and to be consistent in her approach towards engaging and strengthening U.S. alliances. Domestically, I thought that she would continue the positions advanced by President Obama, and would address issues of entitlements (especially in terms of health care), issues related to working families (especially in terms of issues faced by women and children such as child care and education), and issues related to building a more inclusive society. Energy issues (in terms of the Dakota Access Pipeline), and issues related to race (in terms of extrajudicial killings of African Americans and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement) continue to resonate, and I think she was much better suited to address them. Not to mention the inspiring role that she would have had as the first female president of the U.S.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I am disappointed and upset about the results of the election. I think that Donald Trump represents the worst kind of populism, one that is predicated on xenophobia, an unwillingness to engage in civil discourse, and that appeals to the darkest fears of the electorate instead of offering an aspirational vision of where the country should go in the future. His policy prescriptions have been vague and seek to offer oversimplified solutions instead of nuance in dealing with complex issues. He has insulted and alienated every element of American political society, particularly in terms of women and minorities, and threatens to upend some of the strongest international economic and political alliances in favor of protectionism and insularism.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
I think that they will deteriorate. He has already suggested that Japan take on a greater financial burden in military affairs and his aggressive stance on China threatens regional stability.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I think that this is a new low in political civility and I do not see him reaching across the aisle to bridge the gap. In many ways, with a Republican held Congress and Supreme Court he won’t have to.


Miles Takahashi, 51
Honolulu, Hawaii
Health Insurance Sales

I voted for Hillary Clinton as she was by far the most qualified candidate with the most experience and knowledge to do the job. Realistically, everyone in politics has a skeleton or two in their closet, so you typically end up choosing the candidate with the least amount of faults. Trump had an entire graveyard in his closet and I’m sure there’s still much more to be discovered in other closets — I guarantee it.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
Very saddened and disappointed. We now have a buffoon in charge of the strongest military the world has ever known, along with access to the nuclear codes . . . yet his campaign managers won’t even trust him with his own Twitter account. He’s questioned the use of nuclear bombs on several occasions. Who does that or even thinks about the possible use of them? He also doesn’t believe in climate change. As a world leader, many nations look to the U.S. to lead and to set the example. I’m afraid those days are sadly gone for now.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
Deteriorate. Japanese culture is full of tradition. This inconsiderate clown wants the world to bow down at the prowess of the United States. Respect is not won by intimidation, but rather by example.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
Sadly no. Trump has stood on a platform of divisiveness and hate from the very start and is the reason why this country is so divided. He is the only president to accept endorsement from the KKK.


Joelle Dela Cruz, 18
Bellingham, WA
Student

I voted for Hillary Clinton because I did not feel that her opponent, Donald Trump, is qualified to be the president of the United States.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I am disappointed because Donald Trump does not reflect the values and opinions that most Americans have. He does not represent the country well because the things he says about immigrants and others in our country are very untrue of the majority of the country’s opinion.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
I honestly cannot tell how relations are going to be between the U.S. and Japan. Trump is such an unpredictable person. I do hope that it will remain the same as I want to study Japanese in school.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I believe that the people who did not want Trump to be president will be disappointed (like myself). However, we have to carry on and learn to make the best of the situation we are in.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I believe that Americans need time to heal and learn together. We cannot let one person drive us apart. America has seen some bad times in the past, and hopefully we can grow and learn as a nation.


Evelyn Hayashi, 29
Beverly Hills, CA
Instructor

I voted for Hillary Clinton. I voted for her because most of her agenda for the future aligns with my beliefs.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I am disappointed with the election results. The reason is, I did not agree with his agenda nor his beliefs.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I do not believe Americans will be able to come together under the new president. Mainly due to racist remarks will be protected under amendment one.


Erika Ito, 21
Irvine, CA
Unemployed

I voted for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, for several reasons. Her platforms included cutting military spending and prioritizing environmental issues. Also I was unhappy with the two-party system that has yet again failed its citizens, especially the Democratic National Committee, which cheated Bernie Sanders out of his chance at winning the Democratic Party nomination. Although I did not see Jill as a qualified candidate, I voted for her as a push for the third party option. Maybe if she received 5% of the votes this time, the Green Party would have received federal funding and a greater voice in our so-called democracy. I refused to vote for a blatantly racist and misogynistic fool with no public service or military experience. But I also refused to vote for someone who has been complicit in bombing women and children as well as backing military coups in democratically elected states. That’s certainly not feminism. Because I live in a state that would have voted for Hillary Clinton, I had the option to vote third party. However, I would have voted for Clinton if I lived in a swing state like Ohio or Florida.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I am disappointed about the results but am not surprised. Racism and sexism has always been prevalent in the U.S.; only this time, Trump enabled the hate speech he frequently used in his interaction with the public. So I am disappointed with voters who disregarded the lives of Muslims, Hispanic/Latinos, Blacks, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized groups targeted by Trump as they casted a ballot for Trump.

I admit I would have been relieved if Clinton won the presidency. But since that’s not the case, as an American citizen, I will continue to stand with my friends and family who are in a much more vulnerable position than me.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
U.S.-Japan relations will deteriorate under Trump presidency as he has been trigger-happy to drop a nuclear bomb on whoever he sees as the enemy (read: everyone except white people).

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
It united those who fear changes in our country, notably a black man who led our country and the possibility of a woman becoming president. I think we will come together to stand up against hate.


Akira Watanabe, 19
Boston, MA
Student

I voted for Hillary Clinton. I voted for her to oppose the toxic ideals that the Trump campaign had spread. I believed with Hillary as president we would have progressed in the aspects of equality for all people and in the fight against the looming danger of climate change.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
Incredibly disappointed. It has become difficult for me to be proud of being an American. The results of this election reflect not only the racism, xenophobia and misogyny that tightly grips this country, but just how unsatisfied the American people are. Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party had just as much to do with Trump’s rise to power as any other factor in this election. The Democratic National Committee and the media have caused a backlash against the elites in society, against the establishment and those in power. Just as much as the Republican party is out of touch with basic human rights, the Democratic party is out of touch with the common American. Many valuable things were lost during this year’s Presidential election, and one of those things was trust.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
I fear more for the daily lives of the people he’s come out against. That’s what this election was about; to protect those that are vulnerable and uphold their basic rights as equal human beings.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I can’t say. If our president crosses the line, it’s our duty as citizens to put him/her in their place. In any case, this is unknown territory for my country and unity has never been more important.


Andrew Masaru Orita
Seattle, WA
Student

I voted for Hillary Clinton solely as a vote against Trump. I do not agree to several things she supports and him the same, but I was more unlike Trump than Clinton opinion wise in the end.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I feel like America deserves what happened. The Democratic Party hopefully has seen that they says of establishment politics are over. The one silver lining for me is the greater possibility of a true progressive running for Democrats in four years time.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
Since now both countries have right wing extremists as leaders, I feel like relations might possibly improve. Trade wise, however, will be a different story due to Trump’s disapproval of the TTP.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
As a half-white male, I personally will see little difference in my personal daily life. However, the life of my immigrant father may be more difficult even though he is a permanent resident.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
Yes. I believe that if anything this election should coalesce both parties into unified but extremist groups. I also see that unification in opposition may also help the country recover where it can.


Yoshiharu Hewitt, 20
New York, NY
International Relations Student

I voted for Hillary Clinton because I believed in a multiculturalist, globalist U.S. society. I believed in Non-protectionist trade, which HRC (until recently) was advocating for. I believed in a stronger, interventionist, realist foreign policy, where the U.S. is not afraid of intervening around the world in the name of U.S. interests, as well as democratic interests. I believe in the rights of minorities and LGBTQ, whose rights are being challenged by the right all over the United States.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
Extremely disappointed with this election. Not only do we have a President Trump, we have a house and Senate that are both controlled by the Republican Party. Our Foreign allies abroad are now in fear of a U.S. that will not uphold its treaty obligations, whether in defense or in climate change. At home, the right to abortion and marriage equality, thought to be secured for Americans everywhere, now seems threatened.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
Undoubtedly, US-Japan relations will deteriorate, as Trump has previously called for Japan and South Korea to pay for continued US protection and cooperation, and has also suggested that these countries ought to obtain nuclear weapons. Subsequently, I believe that Japan will (or ought to) begin investing more in its own defenses, revamping and strengthening the JSDF, which will in turn require a further reformed interpretation of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution. In addition, I believe that a Trump presidency will encourage Japan to further rely on regional allies to rebuff an increasingly aggressive China, such as India, Taiwan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Indonesia.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
Not at all. The Democrats, in order to save not only Obama’s legacy but the few shreds of liberalism left within US society and legislation, will attempt to be as obstructionist as possible within congress. That, at best, will mean more gridlock, more vicious partisanship, and more division.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
And make no mistake, Trump is not a unifying candidate. He is not a candidate that attempted to bring together large swathes of the American population, quite the opposite in fact. Trump’s entire campaign, and its success, was predicated upon the division between the white working class, and everyone else within the US. He has, almost with surgical precision, attacked every marginalized group within the US, from Mexicans, to Muslims, to LGBTQ, to Women, to Blacks, etc. White working class suspicion of multiculturalism and globalism is what fueled the fire of Trumpism, and is that same suspicion and fear that will continue to fuel his presidency. At best, the US public will be as divided as ever. At worst, a Trump presidency will the lay groundwork for societal catastrophe.


Sandra Naoko Roam, 52
Murfreesboro, TN
Quality Control

Who did you vote for?
Trump. I miss being proud of my government. I hope President Trump will use his wisdom to make us strong again.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I’m happy about the results, however I’m a bit scared. I want to feel somewhat secure and time will tell.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
According to what he said after the election it seems it will improve if he follows through. I want our countries to join together.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
I want our economics situation to improve. It will take a significant amount of time to get us in a good spot. We will have to be patient. Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I think the American people can come together just like we did last night. We are strong in our thoughts, however we do come together.


Tomoko Hotema, 41
Honolulu, Hawai’i
Peace Advocate, Educator

I voted for Hillary Clinton because I cannot support racism, sexism, bigotry, and all the hate and negativity that Trump stands for.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I am absolutely devastated and totally disappointed. I can’t imagine having someone so hateful and inexperienced to lead this country. It is frightening to say the least to see what is to come of this country and its people.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
As someone born in Japan, and a woman, having Trump as the President is devastating. I have three children that I have raised to be kind, compassionate, honest, respectful, and how do I continue to do that with a leader who doesn’t seem to have the same understanding of those words? How do I even begin to explain to my children, to continue to do what we believe in, while our leader separates us from the very things we believe or not believe in? It is frightening.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I hate to say it but no. Not unless people who didn’t vote for Trump work harder, and work together. The rest of us have to rise above this travesty, and work harder than ever before, to spread kindness, stand up for the weak, do the right things, and not lose our focus. This is an extremely tough situation for many of us.


Wrentaro Howell
Atlanta, GA
Student

I voted for Hillary Clinton. Even though I was extremely reluctant to vote for her, with her in power, I believed that her appointees for the Supreme Court would help overturn Citizens United and give our LGBTQ community a stronger voice in our democracy. Another reason that I voted for Clinton over Trump was their ideas on climate change. Climate change is going to be our biggest challenge, and under Clinton we would have at least made a couple of steps towards the right direction.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I was disappointed because I hoped that America would vote for a candidate that at least represented a change in the narrative for America. With Clinton in the White House, she would have been symbol of changing demographics of America. Whether or not she would have been able to make significant changes or not, she would have represented America’s ultimate ideal. What is most disappointing about Trump’s win is not that what he said about women and other minorities, the most disappointing thing is that there is still large part of the white community that still believe that America is a nation by white people and for white people. The popularity of Trump makes it incandescently clear that we still yet to break down the myth of a post-racial America.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
As college student, the biggest concern that I have is student debt. Perhaps in a Clinton presidency, she would have worked to help curve the student debt crisis, but with President Trump, I have no idea whether he will address this issue for not. Until Trump address this issue, I will live the next few years trying to pay off this passive debt that I have accumulated while in college.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
There will be deeper divisions among racial lines, between the rich and poor, the educated and the uneducated. Trump has alienated too many people to his presidency that I doubt that those who he offended will be able to form a meaningful coalition with him.


Vinson Ebata, 56
Honolulu, HI
Program manager

I voted for Hillary Clinton. First of all, I am a registered democrat. Second, I believe that Clinton is much more qualified to serve as Commander-in-Chief. Third, her stance on issues such as LBGT rights, immigration, economic equality, gun control, gender equality and she is pro-choice. Finally, it would be a breakthrough in America to have a woman president.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I am extremely disappointed and saddened by the outcome of the American election. I’m afraid that Americans live in two countries now — the pro-Trump and the anti-Trump. The country is more divided now than ever in our country. The outcome of the election has left a severe wound that will take years to recover. I woke up this morning feeling that the world was a bit more scarier. But Americans have made their choice.

I think the media focused too much on the negatives of both campaigns and not on the substantive policy issues. For Americans, the media made it a choice between which candidate you disliked less. This has stressed out Americans and you can see this by the election results.

For the Democratic party, they severely miscalculated the American people and their strategy failed them. The polls got it all wrong — how can that be? This is a very sad day for Americans and for America.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
In all the rhetoric from Trump and his wishy-washy stance on foreign policy, it seems that a Trump presidency will be certain to change U.S. -Japan relations, but to what degree is uncertain. That is what is scary about a Trump presidency. This is a wake call for Japan.

One impact I can see is that Japan will have to be more self-reliant in its country’s defense, so I expect Japan may need to expand its defense budget. Economically, Trump has said that America comes first, and everyone else second. He promises to “deal” fairly with all countries but this isn’t like a business deal and what is fair? I can see that what is fair will be stacked heavily in America’s favor and not in Japan’s.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
It’s difficult to determine, yet. Until Trump identifies his key cabinet members and clearly articulates his policy positions on the economy, on taxes, etc., and not to mention the Republican controlled Congress, I can only hope that my daily life will not be negatively affected. The thought of Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani as key cabinet members makes me cringe.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I am very concerned that the values that represent American society are being challenged like never before, and not necessarily for the better.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I think that initially, the wounds of this election are too much and will take time for Americans to get over, especially those who were targets of Trumps hateful rhetoric. This was the most divisive election ever and Trump will need to sincerely fulfill his promise to bring the country together that he made in his victory speech. I don’t think he is capable of doing that. For Trump, he has to always win, and with that kind of mindset, the American public will most certainly be on the short-end of the stick. I fear for America is entering a dark age.


Katharine Hicks, 54
Louisville, KY
Retired

My initial candidate was for Senator Bernie Sanders. I voted for Hillary Clinton.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
Very disappointed. Very ashamed of the majority who voted him in! Trump is not qualified for the Presidency of the U.S. A. He absolutely does not know anything about Foreign Affairs, Governing, Diplomacy, Military. He doesn’t know the Constitution, Laws that have passed through our Congress. We are a better country than what he exhibited with his racism, sexism, bigotry, . . . and the list goes on!

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
I stand in the middle. I do not see him advancing the great relationship but I don’t see him ruining it either. Again, he totally lacks foreign affairs so your question will be better answered after he names the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to take that lead.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
He is not a good business person but is a shrewd one. I see him fixing the rich taxes so it will benefit his own business… but our middle class will end up paying that price. Hence all the bankruptcies he has filed hurting all the workers, builders, employees …etc… but will make sure he draws his profits leaving everyone else in destitute. I don’t see my day-to-day changing much at all…but more effects at a State Level by the Republican Senators and Representatives elected in.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
Americans by the majority take their lives for granted. They don’t keep up with their own government and know more about Reality Stars vs being able to name their own Vice President. In my humble opinion . . . it’s a country of indulgences and frivolous spendings with a pretty entitled attitude. When things are so readily available the level of gratitude and appreciation declines. In terms of “coming together” . . . sadly I believe I’ve witnessed it once in my lifetime but doubt I will ever feel that way again. That was in 2008 when President Obama was elected.


Yumika Takeshita, 21
New York, NY
Student

I voted for Hillary Clinton. I’ve always supported Democrats and largely agree with her policies but was also very very very against Donald Trump, who espouses such hatred against so many marginalized groups who have always been historically marginalized. I did NOT want a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, a ban on Syrian refugees, nor did I want a man accused of raping and “grabbing women by the pussy” as someone who is going to be the most known representative of my country. I also very much in favor of the idea of having a female president, which I think is many years overdue (places like Germany and South Korea, UK have preceded the U.S. A decades before.)

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I am incredibly disappointed. I’m angry, shocked, fearful for my family and my non-white/LGBTQ/disabled friends. By allowing Donald Trump to win, we are normalizing and accepting his misogyny and racism. I am fearful for the many progressive policies that Barack Obama has worked to keep. Trump will nominate a conservative justice that will tip the scales in favor of pro-life policies that hurt women. He is also incredibly anti-climate change – climate change is so real and such an urgent issue, but his cabinet is going to be incredibly anti-science and will enact policies that further worsen climate change.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
It really depends what is meant by “improve” or “deteriorate.” I think in the eyes of Prime Minister Abe, they would be improved, since they have very similar policy agendas in terms of militarization. Prime Minister Abe supports increased militarization and self-defense vis-a-vis relations with North Korea and China, and Trump has talked about decreasing support for their strongest allies, which includes Japan!

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I am not sure; I am not too hopeful. We see now that whites and minorities are more divided than ever, and I am not sure that we can fix 400+ years of racial and socioeconomic division under someone who actually likes divisive rhetoric.


Shiina Yamada, 33
Austin, TX
Tech support

Proudly voted for Hillary Clinton. I believe in women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration reform, stricter gun laws, tax reform, climate control. But above all, I believe in love and kindness for others.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I am disappointed. I am a queer Japanese-American living in the South. I was planning on proposing to my partner in the next few months, but we are now considering elopement to secure our right to marry before that right could be taken away from us. I am more terrified than anything. I am terrified because we really don’t know what president elect Trump stands for and what he will actually follow through with. It wasn’t that long ago when our own people were put into Internment camps in this country out of fear and racism. I have lost trust in this system. How did this happen YET again? How does the popular vote amount for nothing?!?!

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
I don’t think it’s going to really change much. I’m concerned that the Japanese economy will decline because of this presidency. Not sure how it’s going to benefit.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
I take medication daily. Thankfully, I have been working for a Fortune 500 company for the past 12 years. I have great health benefits through my employer. I think I’ll be ok, but I worry for my friends who are trans and need their hormone therapy and how much that will cost them. I worry about their safety the most. I worry about how much my grandmother’s medications are going to run here. I worry about my parents small restaurant business in New York. I worry that they will be taken advantage of under the new presidency. Those are the 2 things that come to my mind first.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I am trying to stay positive. I am trying to stay hopeful. I still believe that love can trump hate. I believe that there is a lot of ignorance in this country, but I think with kindness and community based work, this nation will continue to move forward.


Ken Coller, 58
Tacoma, WA
Writer

Who did you vote for?

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
Clinton, because she was the best qualified.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
Unhappy, because I evaluate Mr Trump to be an idiot.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I cannot speak for my fellow citizens. As for me, if any President requests my assistance they will have my best effort. I am certain however that Mr Trump has nothing to ask of me.


Kenji G. Taguma, 47
San Francisco, CA
President, Nichi Bei Foundation
Editor-in-Chief, Nichi Bei Weekly

Who did you vote for?
I voted for Hillary Clinton, but she probably wouldn’t have been my first choice of the original candidates. However, I do not subscribe to the false equivalencies of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump — they are vastly different in levels of qualifications, competency and temperament. In voting, it was clear to me that it would come down to two candidates, so while I may not have been as enthusiastic as I could be about Mrs. Clinton, the alternative, I felt, would have been disastrous. Mr. Trump will be the most unqualified president of my lifetime, on many levels.

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I am utterly disappointed and embarrassed that our country could vote in a narcissist who has such a enormous ego, who been racist, sexist, xenophobic and disrespectful of our veterans and the disabled. The election results, for much of the country, have been a shock — a surreal nightmare. For communities of color and other traditionally marginalized communities, we are in a very real state of fear. Today, there have already been several instances of hate spewed upon vulnerable communities. And while many opposing Mr. Trump have taken to the streets in protest, we are in a state of fear because some have used the inflammatory rhetoric of Mr. Trump as a justification to instill vile hatred.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
It would depend upon whom Mr. Trump surrounds himself with. His suggestion to give Japan nuclear weapons, I think, will be soundly protested due to Japan’s militaristic past. If he could present a sound rationale for charging Japan more for security, that could possibly be up for debate. President Obama made some strides in building bridges with Japan, namely in appointing Caroline Kennedy — the daughter of a beloved figure in Japan — as U.S. Ambassador, and especially in being the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Memorial. But a lot of the U.S.-Japan relationship centers around the bases in Okinawa, and it remains to be seen whether any president can adequately address the burden on the Okinawa people.

As a representative of the Japanese American community, how do you think your community will be affected?
Many in the Japanese American community, a community that often looks through a social justice lens due to our wartime experience, are scared and deeply saddened by the result of the elections. Many are also angry with the American electorate for putting a candidate with un-American values into the most powerful office in the world. I, too, feel that deep apprehension.The teenage daughter of a friend of mine, who was born in the U.S. to parents of Mexican and Japanese heritage, had to be assured that she would not be deported. I can only imagine the rise of bullying in public schools, as well as the general public.

Most alarming to the Japanese American community is that Mr. Trump had expressed ambivalence whether or not he would have uprooted the Japanese American community during World War II and place them in American concentration camps. This is especially alarming given that a federal commission found that the root causes of our wartime incarceration were wartime hysteria, racial prejudice and a failure of political leadership — which led to an apology and redress from the U.S. government. To even question the merits of that wartime decision is rather shocking to the Japanese American community.
Since 9/11, and even a decade before that with the first Gulf War, the Japanese American community has had a unique role to play in helping to safeguard the rights of Muslims, Arab Americans and South Asians living in the U.S., given our wartime experience. We have voiced opposition to original plans to put them in concentration camps, and members of those communities have played an active part in our annual Day of Remembrance commemorations — which reflect upon our wartime incarceration — since 9/11. Now, perhaps more than ever, the Japanese American community needs to be vigilant in using the wartime deprivation of our civil rights as a reminder of why we need to safeguard the rights of others.


Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?

With the incoming president promising to roll back some of the advances of the Obama Administration, and with an unobstructed Congress as a willing partner, there is great fear as to what the future holds. Supreme Court nominations will be a big point of contention, as well as civil rights and climate protections. And while Mr. Trump surprisingly had a conciliatory tone in his acceptance speech, it remains to be seen if he forms more of a coalition government that includes diverse voices and opinions, as it is clear that with Mrs. Clinton winning the popular vote, and the Democrats gaining seats in the House and Senate from Republicans, there is no clear mandate.

But already, there is an alarming number of hate incidents, as there are some who feel emboldened by Mr. Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric. Although they live in areas of greater diversity, I am worried for my nieces and nephews, and how they, their friends or the children of my friends could be impacted.


Japanese living in the U.S.

Hiromi Yokoi, 45
Minneapolis, MN
Lived in U.S. for 25 years
Business Consultant

Are you happy or disappointed about the victory of Donald Trump? Who would you have voted for if you’d had the right to vote?
I am disappointed, and fearful the direction this country may head. I would have voted for Bernie Sanders, although fully expect him to be a one term president.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
I do not believe it will affect the relationship. In Donald Trump’s eyes Japan has very little to offer; therefore he will likely to leave Japan alone.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
Hateful rhetoric will become the normal and it will be a hard world to live. The economy will either strive beyond expectation or it’ll plunge into a global scale depression. It’ll be that extreme.

I hope so. However, with both senate and house are dominated by Republicans, some Trump supporters may take this as a ticket to be oppressive and remain divisive for those who don’t agree with them.


Miho Ochiai, 35
Minneapolis, MN
Lived in U.S. for 8 years
Homemaker

Are you happy or disappointed about the victory of Donald Trump? Who would you have voted for if you’d had the right to vote?
Very disappointed. I’d have voted for Clinton.

It will stay the same. Foreign policy cannot change too drastically with whoever becomes the president.
How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
It’s not going to change much. It is unpleasant to see Mr. Trump on the media on regular basis.

I don’t think so. The result of this election proved how bigoted many Americans are.


Fumie Ichikawa
Indianapolis, Indiana
Lived in U.S. for 16 years
Associate director at NPO

Are you happy or disappointed about the victory of Donald Trump? Who would you have voted for if you’d had the right to vote?
I am extremely disappointed at the outcome of the election at both local and national level. I am concerned about the future of the country and the community that I live in. I am a permanent resident thus I am not eligible to vote but I would have voted for Clinton.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
I will need to wait and see how Trump move forward in his administration. If he continues with his promises from the campaign, I do not see any foreign relationship improving anytime soon.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
I feel that I live in a bubble which is parallel from the one voted Trump into the office. I see people who voted for Clinton starting to pick up and organize for the mid-term election in 2018 already.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
It all depends how Trump takes on the administration and policies. It could happen but it won’t be an easy road to unite the country if continues with his rhetoric from the campaign.


Yuka Azuma
Brooklyn, New York City
Lived in U.S. for 34 years
Entertainment journalist

Are you happy or disappointed about the victory of Donald Trump? Who would you have voted for if you’d had the right to vote?
I am ashamed Trump won but feel relieved Hillary didn’t win, as I don’t approve of either. My concern was about who owns both major Parties. This 2 Party system is designed to serve the same global elites, and as long as Democrats and Republicans are too busy pointing finger at each other to blame for our problems, wars continue, the 1% control everything, and people suffer and our planet be polluted.

I would have cast a conscious vote for Jill Stein. Green Party’s 5% vote would automatically put the Party on the ballot nationwide in the next race and receive 10 million as a legitimate major party. This is how we can start breaking away from the system.

Feel relieved because at least Trump is not in the pocket of Big Pharma and Monsanto like Hilary, and be more moderate on the mandate vaccines, GMO foods and TPP. And now with people’s strong resentment for Trump, we can turn it around and head for a revolution. This can be our chance to create a better world. It is my hope that when Trump acts with violence, people will demand Peace for a change!

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
Clinton would have forced drug on us with mandated vaccines, and let GMOs take over our food market. Therefore, under Trump our children’s health would be less at risk as he is more moderate on these issues. And the significant effect would have come with TPP and it would have changed everyone’s daily life if Clinton was elected. TPP is a go sign for the 1% to take over the world. Not just in America but all over the world, organic farmers would have disappeared one by one, medical care would be the thing of a luxury service for the riches and dirty energy would have continued to flourish with full power to damage our ecosystem and nature. But with Trump in office, TPP will be hopefully killed by the Congress, and this will affect everyone in a very positive way.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I think this is an opportunity given to American people to come together to resent Trump, along with people who resent Clinton. People despair over Trump’s racism, yet don’t look at the “facts” on Hillary’s actions on people of colors. She led the killing of Muslims around the globe, stole millions of dollars of relief money from people of Haiti, and has no sympathy for Palestinians nor the Native Americans fighting for water. With her as the President, people would have stayed blind on her supremacy quality. But now with people’s strong resentment for Trump, we can head for a revolution and create a better world with no racism. This is the time of Critical mass. I hope we can ride it and make it better.


Kiyomasa Kuwana, 20
Greenwich, CT
Lived in U.S. for 14 years
Student

Are you happy or disappointed about the victory of Donald Trump? Who would you have voted for if you’d had the right to vote?
I am not pleased about the victory of Donald Trump. This man has denied, among other things, climate change, which will be detrimental to places like Hawai’i and the rest of the world. I voted for Hillary Clinton, but my vote did not matter too much as I voted in Rhode Island, a state in which Clinton had a solid grasp.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
I think that the U.S.-Japan relations will deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency. He has already suggested that countries like Japan should have their own nuclear weapons, and I am hopeful that Prime Minister Abe will not approve of such actions. Moreover, with little experience in the world of politics, Trump will have no idea what to do when negotiating with and “building” relations with Japan. He has shown a complete disregard for other cultures, and I wonder if that will render his attempt at negotiating with Japan useless; after all, if he doesn’t understand the culture of Japan, as well as those from other countries, he cannot improve relations.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
While he did call for “unity” in his victory speech, I do not think that Americans will be able to come together under the new president. For example, he has the endorsement of the KKK and other white supremacist/extremist groups that actively work to marginalized people who already do not have much of a voice. This alone, I think, would repel many people of color and close off any possibility of unity around him. Moreover, the victory of Donald Trump has already caused much anger, demonstrated by the protests that occurred around the United States yesterday night. Many of my friends have expressed their anxiety of living under a man who perpetuates xenophobia and hatred and hostility towards others, which will not facilitate unity as a country.


Ayaki Kimura, 21
Atlanta, GA
Lived in U.S. for 3 years
Student

Are you happy or disappointed about the election results and why?
I am appalled to hear about Trump’s victory. As a person who is personally not well-informed enough about politics to make commentary about his policy stances, I cannot speak to those issues; however, I believe that a person’s social beliefs are inseparable from their politics, and I am hugely disappointed to see a figure who openly endorses bigotry to be the president of the United States — a country founded on the principles of inclusion and diversity. As a minority woman living in the U.S., I am horrified that a figure who perpetuates racism and misogyny now stands in such a powerful position. I understand that many were conflicted about the candidates for this election; however, if I had the chance to vote, I would definitely have voted for Clinton rather than someone like Trump who speaks only to the interests of a small, privileged demographic.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
I understand that as a college student on a liberal campus, I am living in somewhat of a bubble; however, judging from the strong response that has been provoked from various social media platforms, I believe that this election will have very polarizing results. Minorities, and all others against Trump’s election, will have to continue advocating for their rights in order to maintain a safe space within their communities.


Nobuhiro Seki, 47
New York, NY
Lived in U.S. for 5 years
Chief executive

Are you happy or disappointed about the victory of Donald Trump? Who would you have voted for if you’d had the right to vote?
Disappointed, as I would vote for Clinton.

Do you think the U.S.-Japan relations will improve or deteriorate under the Donald Trump presidency? Why?
Deteriorate, as Japan is not ready to deal with policies Trump Administration would have.

How do you think your daily life in the U.S. will be affected under the new president?
Hatred, discrimination and other emotional, irrational activities would become more common.

Do you think Americans will be able to come together under the new president?
No. This is a beginning of the country divided into a few nations.