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Leading up to the Inauguration as the Nikkei Ambassador of Paraguay: The Joyful Moment (Japanese)

(Japanese) I myself served as the chairman of 6 difference organizations, including the mayor of La Paz and the chairman for the Central Cooperativa Nikkei. I consulted with people around me if I, as an immigrant, should become ambassador of Paraguay. At that time, they mentioned to me that it is very rare for immigrants to become an ambassador. As an immigrant, it is an honor and a source of pride to be able to serve the homeland. For many immigrants, Japan is still their home country. The demands that I should become Paraguayan Ambassador to Japan was getting higher, even if I had to leave behind my current position. I, myself, felt the opportunity was a great privilege so that I decided to accept the position as an ambassador to Japan. People in the Japanese colony as well as the Itapúa prefecture also considered it an extreme honor that somebody from their region became an ambassador so they were very supportive. Of course, I received much aid from the people of Paraguay when living in the colony, and I was welcomed in the places, conferences, and visits I made as the ambassador. I must say that as a Japanese person, the one thing that makes me feel most honored is the chance to meet the Emperor a few times a year through such events as the presentation of credentials, dinner parties, and receptions. The fact that I am able to shake hands with the Emperor creates this strong feeling in my heart of being Japanese.


ambassadors Paraguay

Date: March 24, 2009

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Interviewer: Alberto Matsumoto

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum.

Interviewee Bio

Isao Taoka was born in 1943 in the Miyoshi District of Tokushima Prefecture. At the age of 14, he immigrated to the La Paz Colony in Paraguay. While engaging in agriculture, Mr. Taoka took on several community positions such as the chair of the Cooperativa La Paz Agrícola (Agriculture Union of La Paz), the chairman of the Central Cooperativa Nikkei del Paraguay (Central Nikkei Agriculture Union in Paraguay), and the supervisor as well as the director for the Federación de Cooperativa de Producción del Paraguay (Agriculture Union Federation of Paraguay). In 1987, he received the third class of the Paraguay Merit of Service Award. Between 1992 and 1996, and again from 2002 to 2003, Mr. Taoka served as the mayor of La Paz. In 2004, he became the first immigrant born in Japan to be inaugurated as an ambassador to Japan. Mr. Taoka served this position until October of 2009. (December 2009)

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