On Saturday March 14, the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association held its Annual General Meeting at Nikkei Place. Although the group attending was small, the GVJCCA will be able to form a good solid base for the coming year. Forming the new GVJCCA Board of Directors for 2009/2010 is:
Having taken care of this part of business, which is important for the coming year, I can tell you a bit about being part of the first Japanese Canadian Leadership Programme’s visit to Japan that was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA). The visit provided the opportunity for Japanese Canadians to gain some understanding about Japan and to meet and exchange information with Japanese leaders in regards to government, business, political, and cultural sectors.
I was selected as a member of this year’s delegation—the first Japanese Canadians to visit Japan under this programme. There were a total of five of us. The others were Brian Yamashita (Ottawa); Jeffrey Naganobu (Hamilton); Jennifer Sakai (Montreal); and Kelly Koga (Winnipeg). For most of us, this was the first time that we had ever been in Japan and what an experience it was. The main purpose of the experience was to strengthen and advance Japan-Canada relations through the sharing of experiences, and attaining information on areas to do with culture, history, political issues, heritage, economic, and ecologic views. For myself, it was a lot to absorb and there was not enough time to truly appreciate the experience.
I truly appreciated the beauty, history, and honour of going to some of the Buddhist and Shinto shrines in Kyoto. Visiting the Daisen-In Temple, Kiyomizu Temple and Ise Temple were very memorable. While in Kyoto we were able to see the library about Japanese culture at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies. We even managed to see some of the first cherry blossoms at the Imperial Palace grounds in Kyoto. Even though we were still suffering jetlag, riding the Bullet Train (Shinkansen) proved very exhilarating.
While in Tokyo, meeting Mr Sadaaki Numata, who is now Director of the Centre For Global Partnership, was wonderful as he was previously the Ambassador of Japan to Canada.
I think for many of us, making a courtesy call to Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado was a true highlight. One doesn’t meet royalty often.
Anyway, since I’ve just arrived back from Japan today, March 28th, I will write more in the next issue, so please excuse the shortness.
The Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association will start taking applicants for the following positions for the summer dependent on funding from Human Resources Development of Canada: Administrative Assistant; Special Projects Co-ordinator; and Historical Research Archivist. Please email your resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 604.777.5223.
Ron Nishimura, President GVJCCA