The huge Japanese community in Brazil has been celebrating 70 years of immigration this year.?
The huge Japanese community in Brazil has been celebrating 70 years of immigration this year. To mark the celebrations, the Community was visited by Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko of the Japanese Royal Family.
SYNOPSIS: Sao Paulo state has one of the largest Japanese communities outside of Japan. It's estimated that of the 750,000 of Japanese extraction in Brazil, more than three quarters of them live in Sao Paulo.
Londrina, in neighbouring Parana State was one centre for the Japanese Community's celebrations. One hundred and 30 thousand live in Parana state which grows 50 percent of all Brazil's coffee.
Since the Severe frost of 1975 which severely damaged Brazil's coffee producing potential, Parana state farmers diversified into such things as sweetcorn, soybeans and cotton. Parana accounts for a quarter of all Brazil's total agricultural output. Most of the farmers belong to the Japanese community which is credited with revolutionising agricultural techniques.
Dr. Shehei Uetsuka led the first group of 781 to Brazil in 1908. At the agricultural centre of Rolandia, in Parana State, Japanese community members from 62 cities and towns gathered for the Anniversary celebrations. It was estimated that about 20 thousand men, women and children attended the celebrations at the centre which was founded by Japanese and today is run by their descendants.
The high point of the celebrations was the arrival of Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko accompanied by the President of Brazil, General Ernesto Geisel.
Some of those at the celebrations were fourth generation after the isolation caused by World War Two, the descendants reject the term "colony" in favour of "Japan-Brazilian community".
It was Prince Akihito's second visit to Brazil. There were rumours before this visit that members of the left wing terrorist group, the Japanese Red Army, had entered Brazil from Paraguay and some two thousand security men were reported to have mingled with the celebrating crowds.
Japanese immigration to Brazil is down to about one hundred a year. Now, it is Japanese business and industrial concerns that are imported into Brazil.