President’s Report

February 13, 2013 at 7:00 am

After many years of inactivity, your current Board met in late January to fashion the 2013 budget around specific programs and events for this year. Anchoring all activities is the fact that we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the historic Redress Settlement – a time for reflection and action.

Here are some specific upcoming activities:

NAJC Award of Merit: Twenty years ago, we last gave out the NAJC Award of Merit to those in our community who have given meritorious service to the NAJC and to the community. In April, we will recognize 35 deserving recipients.

Donation of Chapter files: Negotiations are under way with the University of Toronto (Robarts Library) to donate all Chapter files to their archives. A condition of the agreement is to guarantee that the files will be available to the general public for viewing and research. It is hoped that all files will be donated before the end of this year.

Youth: The youth committee under Lindsay Tsuji is working on a mural project commemorating Nikkei history to grace the side of a well known downtown Japanese grocery store. The event will take place in September with input from youth delegates who will attend the NAJC annual general meeting to be held the weekend of September 21st in Toronto.

Manga Project: The project is called Nikkei Manga-gatari. Nikkei is a term used to describe anyone living outside Japan and gatari is a story. The manga is approximately 100 pages, consisting of three books illustrated and fully realized stories concerning each of the first three generations of the Japanese Canadians. All stories are written by Terry Watada and will be fully illustrated by Kenji Iwata and will contain sidebar descriptors of various events, customs and traditions of Japanese Canadian culture and community. The Issei story will be available in September of this year.

Human Rights: The Committee has made several proposals which are under consideration. There are plans to have the Islamic community take part in a fall educational conference being organized by Ryerson and University of Toronto (OISE) to commemorate the Redress anniversary and to examine current human rights issues. There continues to be unanswered questions around the Tohoku disaster and the lack of clear information forthcoming from the Japanese government. A panel of experts and expats will take part in a panel discussion to address this and other issues. Specific date and time will be posted in the Toronto section of The Bulletin so stay tuned.

Arts and Culture Committee: chaired by Brefni Shuttleworth will be the lead committee organizing the NAJC 25th anniversary banquet to be held on September 21st at the JCCC. Details to follow. In addition, plans are underway for “Transformation Ochawan” an art project in commemoration of the settlement sometime in August or in early winter. A Japanese toy resource kit has been approved and will be available soon to schools.

I invite readers in the Toronto area to contact our office if you are interested in participating in any of our committees. Lastly a reminder to renew your 2013 membership.

Ken Noma, President
Greater Toronto Chapter NAJC