Convention of Nikkei & Japanese Abroad

【The 63rd Convention of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad -Offline and online-】


1. History

During the Second World War, some 120,000 Japanese nationals and Nikkei descendants living in various parts of the United States were interned in camps. Through the Red Cross, the inmates were sent special deliveries of familiar articles from Japan, including miso paste, soy sauce and reading materials. In September 1945, witnessing the devastating impact of defeat in Japan and the crippling shortages of food and basic items, the former camp inmates resolved to repay the kindness shown to them during the war years by sending supplies of food (particularly milk powder) and clothing back to the motherland. The LARA goods shipments, as they became known, lasted from 1946 to 1952. The acronym LARA stands for Licensed Agencies for Relief in Asia, a broad collection of Christian church groups, labor unions and other organizations dedicated to providing relief to the Asian region. LARA was responsible for delivering around ¥40 billion worth of material assistance to Japan (calculated at 1952 prices), of which 20% (¥8 billion) was provided directly by Nikkei Japanese. LARA began operations in June 1946 with official approval from the Washington Relief Supervisory Committee. The example of LARA prompted similar aid initiatives for Japan through Red Cross agencies in countries such as Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Following the induction of Japan into the United Nations in late 1956, members of the Japanese Diet decided to stage an event to commemorate this momentous occasion while giving formal recognition to the outstanding efforts of Nikkei Japanese for the benefit of the motherland, as exemplified by the LARA relief program. The result was the Nikkei Friendship Convention in Commemoration of United Nations Membership, which took place in May 1957. For the second Congress, held in 1960, the event was renamed the Convention of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad, and from the third Congress in 1962 it became an annual event.

  • Time-Line of the Convention of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad→Click here
  • Past Conference Declaration → Click here

2. Purpose

The annual Convention provides a valuable opportunity for Nikkei Japanese living abroad to gather together in the mother country and discuss life outside Japan, while encouraging international exchange, understanding and friendship across national borders and therefore promoting a better understanding of Japan in the international community.

3. Participants Qualify

The Congress is open to any and all Japanese people who have relocated overseas on a permanent basis, as well as their second, third and fourth generation descendants, irrespective of current nationality and degree of Japanese ethnicity.

〇Click here for the report of the 62rd Convention in 2022. (Japanese Page)