U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke came under fire this week for what critics said was a “flippant” and “juvenile” use of a Japanese greeting when responding to a question from a congresswoman of Japanese descent during a House committee hearing.
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, of Hawaii, asked Zinke on Thursday whether he would continue a program that preserves sites where Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II. Zinke replied using a Japanese greeting typically spoken in the afternoon. The Democratic congresswoman, who said two of her grandparents were subjected to internment, corrected him and used the Japanese phrase for “good morning.”