By Misa Murohashi The North American Post
The 61st Convention of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad was held online for the first time on October 30-31. This annual convention, hosted by The Association of Nikkei & Japanese Abroad (ANJA) has been held in various cities around the world since 1960. Last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic.
About 500 people from 20 countries participated virtually. Interestingly, presenters spoke in live broadcasts with simultaneous interpretation between Japanese, English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
The first day’s welcome addresses included one by His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Akishino.
Day 2’s first panel discussion on “Activities of Nikkei Communities” included the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in Peru, and how Nikkei organizations in Brazil and Mexico worked together to resolve regional pandemic issues.
A second panel, on “Nikkei Media and Museums,” included reports from the Nikkei National Museum, Canada, the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum, Yokohama, and this author from the NAP. A third panel addressed “Problems and Challenges of Nikkei Communities in Japan.” Here, the nonprofit ABC Japan described its language, job training, childcare, and other humanitarian services.
Throughout the sessions, the terms solidarity, compassion, and diversity were often used. Nikkei immigrants have historically exposed themselves in oversea environments to the challenges of cross-cultural communication and discrimination. The facilitator commented that there is much that Japanese society today can learn from Nikkei history and culture.
Videos from the convention are being posted on its YouTube channel, “Kaigai Nikkeijin Kyokai” (Overseas Nikkei Association).
The 2022 convention will be in Tokyo, if global pandemic recovery is sufficient for international travel.
Info: The Association of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad, jadesas.or.jp/en