Sumitomo Corporation
Unease in Little Tokyo

When older Japanese Americans hear scare phrases like "ethnic integrity," they can be forgiven for flashing back to less-friendly times. But what if the speaker is Japanese American? Last month, Little Tokyo's New Otani Hotel & Garden was sold by longtime owner East West Development Corp. to a Beverly Hills real estate company, 3D Investments. Without much warning, the anchor tenant of a tourist-friendly cultural cluster was owned by a company run by two Iranian American brothers. Coming on the heels of the nearby Japanese Village Plaza's sale to a Malibu firm, the deal spooked Little Tokyo. "We are very concerned about the new owners," local Japanese Chamber...