My choice of Japanese Canadian leaders for three generations, each representing his respective generation, are the late Mr. Tsutae Sato (1891-1983), the late Dr.Thomas Shoyama (1915-2006), and Dr.David Suzuki.
The principal of the Vancouver Alexander Japanese Language School, Mr. Sato and his wife spent 50 years teaching Japanese to us Canadian-born students.
Mr. Sato always told us to be good Canadians with Japanese values. And the day after the Pearl Harbor Attack occurred he summoned all 1,000 students to the school to declare that we are all Canadians and to be loyal to Canada.
The leader for the second generation would be the late Tom Shoyama, an economist who worked as deputy minister for Tommy Douglas in the CCF Saskatchewan government and helped to establish universal medicare. He went on to become a deputy minister of finance for finance ministers John Turner, Donald Macdonald and Jean Chretien and was an adviser on fiscal federalism to the late Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Trudeau.
Last but not least is David Suzuki, a third generation Japanese Canadian, a scientist who is internationally well-known as an environmentalist and weekly CBC TV host of The Nature of Things. According to a poll by Readers’ Digest, he was picked as a number one person to be trusted by Canadians, seconded by the Queen of England.
And all the three leaders have been recognized by both the Canadian and Japanese governments.