Japan Now

Vol. 8, No. 5 (August 6, 2012)
The opinions and materials contained herein do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Government of Japan.

 

In this issue:

1. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Calls on Prime Minister Noda

2. Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan

3. Japan-Afghanistan Summit Meeting

4. Foreign Minister Gemba Attends ASEAN-Related Meetings

5. World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku

6. A Friend to Man: Governor Ralph Carr's Defense of Freedom

 

 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Calls on Prime Minister Noda

City of Sendai
Prime Minister Noda with U.S. Secretary of State Clinton (Cabinet Public Relations Office)

-Cabinet Secretariat,
Cabinet Public Relations Office

July 8, 2012

On Sunday, July 8, for about 25 minutes from 8:35 a.m., The Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States of America, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. The outline of their meeting is as follows.

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Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan

Minister Gemba
Foreign Minister Gemba at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan (MOFA)

-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 2012

On July 8, the Japanese and Afghan Governments jointly held the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan. Events included the Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan, a symposium organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and a panel discussion organized by the Liaison Conference for the Promotion of Gender Equality, among others.

The Tokyo Declaration was adopted.

You can read the summary and evaluation of the conference and Minister Gemba's remarks on the Ministry's website.

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Japan-Afghanistan Summit Meeting

Minister Gemba and Secretary Clinton
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister Noda (Cabinet Public Relations Office)

-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 9, 2012

On Monday, July 9, H.E. Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting from 5:30 pm for approximately 30 minutes with H.E. Mr. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, who was on an official visit to Japan. The two leaders also exchanged views during a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Noda subsequently. An overview of the meeting is as follows:

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Foreign Minister Gemba Attends ASEAN-Related Meetings

-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 10, 2912

From Tuesday, July 10, to Friday, July 13, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan visited Phnom Penh, Cambodia to attend ASEAN-related foreign ministers' meetings (the Japan-ASEAN Foreign Ministers' meeting, the East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers' meeting, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Meeting and a Friends of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Ministerial Meeting).

After attending the above-mentioned ASEAN-related foreign ministers' meetings, Minister Gemba visited Ha Noi, Viet Nam from the evening of Friday, July 13, to Sunday, July 15.

You can read the summaries of these meetings on the Ministry's website.

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World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku

Minister Gemba and Secretary Clinton
Fukushima (Fukushima City)

-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
July 4, 2912

On July 3rd and 4th, the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction was held in several locations in the Tohoku region of Japan. The Conference aimed to provide participants with a space to share experiences and lessons learned from large-scale disasters like the Great East Japan Earthquake and discuss disaster reduction and ways to build more resilient societies.

You can learn more about the Conference and read the remarks of Prime Minister Noda and Foreign Minister Gemba on the Ministry's website.

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A Friend to Man:
Governor Ralph Carr's Defense of Freedom

City of Sendai
Governor Ralph Carr (Colorado State Archives)

- Adam Schrager
July 2, 2012

After being hounded, harassed and threatened by police officers and citizens in California, Arizona and New Mexico, Herbert Inouye could hardly believe what happened when he and his family finally reached the Colorado border in February, 1942.

"Welcome to Colorado," the state patrolman said. "Governor Ralph Carr and the State of Colorado welcome you. How can I be of service to you?"

Inouye and two other Japanese Americans describe their experiences in a documentary called gThe Untold Story of Ralph Carr and the Japanese: Fate of 3 Japanese Americans and the Internment,h produced by Fujisankei Communications International, Inc. (FCI).

The hour-long film was shown recently at the Japan Information and Culture Center with Ambassador Fujisaki in attendance. Also in the audience was President & CEO of Nitto Tire USA, Tomo Mizutani, whose company sponsored the documentary.

Ralph L. Carr would lose his political career because he defended the Constitutional rights of Japanese Americans. He was the most prominent politician on the West Coast to do so and risked physical violence and impeachment as a result.

Carr was born in 1887 in rural Colorado and raised in the mining community of Cripple Creek. He would work multiple jobs to pay for his undergraduate and law school education at the University of Colorado-Boulder. His first legal job was in Coloradofs rural San Luis Valley where he taught himself to speak Spanish to help serve a greater clientele. After more than a decade practicing law, hefd become the statefs pre-eminent expert on water rights and eventually defend Coloradofs interests before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Carr was named U.S. Attorney for Colorado in 1929 by President Herbert Hoover. In that role, he was the areafs foremost enforcer of Prohibition, notably dueling with bootleggers and moonshiners. He earned a reputation as gthe only public official (the bootleggers) werenft able to buy.h

His first foray into politics came in 1939 when, despite his protests, he was drafted by fellow Republicans to run for Governor against the incumbent, Teller Ammons. His campaign promised no new taxes and an gefficient, economical and American form of governmenth as the state faced a $1.8 million debt.

Within two years, Carr had turned a deficit into a surplus, attracting the attention of Republican leaders nationwide. He spoke to GOP audiences in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Detroit. Presidential nominee Wendell Willkie would ask him to be his running mate, but Carr stayed in Colorado, winning re-election to a second 2-year term by a 60%-40% margin.

Shortly after the Dec. 7 bombing of Pearl Harbor, Carr said on statewide radio that gWe cannot test the degree of a manfs affection for his fellow or his devotion to his country by the birthplace of his grandfathers. All Americans had their origin beyond the borders of the United States.h

Further, he told the Pacific Citizen newspaper, gTo the American-born citizen of Japanese parentage we look for example and guidance. To those who have not been so fortunate as to have been born in this country, we offer the hand of friendship, secure in the knowledge that they will be as truly American as the rest of us.h

Following President Rooseveltfs Feb. 19, 1942 issuing of Executive Order 9066, allowing the military to evacuate anyone of Japanese descent from the U.S. west coast, Carr angered Colorado voters on two fronts: by agreeing to hold non-citizens or aliens in Colorado if the military believed it would help protect the country and by disagreeing with any plan to restrain American citizens of any background without evidence of wrongdoing or a criminal trial to determine guilt.

gIt is my conviction that it is our duty to take in these aliens in time of war,h he told an audience in Boulder. gWe are Americans and must do what the government desires us to.

g(But) if we put American-born Japanese in concentration camps, we abrogate their constitutional rights,h he continued. gIf Ifm right, letfs stop making threatsc If Ifm wrong, you can oust me at the next election.h

The contrast with other politicians in the western United States was striking.

California Attorney General Earl Warren said gAmerican-born Japanese are a menace.h Idaho Attorney General Bert Miller said he wanted to keep his state, gwhite manfs country.h Wyoming Gov. Nels Smith said if anyone of Japanese ancestry were sent to his state, gThere would be Japs hanging from every pine tree.h

On March 26, he faced down an angry crowd in Coloradofs Arkansas Valley, saying Japanese Americans gare protected by the same constitution that protects us. An American citizen of Japanese descent has the same rights as any other citizen. He has the same right to run for governor as I have.

gIf you harm them, you must first harm me. I was brought up in small towns where I knew the shame and dishonor of race hatred. I grew to despite it because it threatened the happiness of you and you and you,h he said pointing at three different farmers in the crowd.

Despite his protestations, the War Relocation Authority created Camp Amache, near Granada in southeastern Colorado. He faced physical threats and calls for impeachment as a result of his stand that he based in part on his political hero, Abraham Lincoln.

g(The) Constitution starts out by saying, eWe the people of the United States.f It doesnft say eWe the people, who are descendants of the English or the Scandinavians or the French.f It says, eWe the people,fh he wrote to the Colorado Federation of Labor. gWhen it is suggested that American citizens be thrown into concentration camps, where they lose all the privileges of citizenship under that Constitution, then the principles of that great document are violated and lost.h

As a result of Carrfs position, Coloradofs population of Japanese descent nearly doubled from the 1940 census count of 2,734 and those people, like the family of Herbert Inouye, were able to live freely through the war. Further, all of the statefs universities accepted Japanese American college students evacuated from the west coast schools.

Carrfs opponent in the 1942 fall election was U.S. Sen. Edwin C. Johnson. He opposed Carrfs stand on behalf of Japanese Americans and campaigned by saying that Carr had put Coloradofs safety at risk in the process.

Johnson defeated Carr in one of the closest elections in Colorado history. Swapping one vote in each of the statefs 1,297 precincts would have led to a different result.

After losing, Carr continued to advocate for Japanese Americans, bringing Wakako Domoto, a California native, from Camp Amache to live at his house, paying for her education and he hiring her as a nanny for his first grandchild. He returned to practicing law, representing numerous underserved clients, including Native American tribes and businesses. In that vein, he sent a note to Gene Autry at Columbia Pictures, criticizing the negative images of Native Americans in his films.

He was honored by the first post-war Japanese American Citizens League convention, held in Denver. He received a gold pocket watch from the group with the inscription, gIn grateful appreciation for your courageous stand for Democratic American principles.h

He served as a University of Colorado Regent before being drafted to run for governor again in 1950. With legendary civil rights advocate Minoru Yasui serving as the head of the gNisei Committee for Ralph L. Carr for Governor,h Carr continued to stress that hefd always defended the Constitutional rights of American citizens.

After winning the primary, Carr died of complications associated with diabetes, at age 62.

Coloradofs poet laureate Thomas Hornsby Ferril eulogized Carr as ga one-man crusade for freedom all his life.h Political columnist Alva Swain wrote, gHe was a friend to man. What more can be said?h

Colorado state lawmakers named part of U.S. Highway 285 the gRalph L. Carr Memorial Highway,h and the statefs new building for its Supreme Court and Attorney General, set to open in 2013, gThe Ralph L. Carr Justice Center.h


Mr. Adam Schrager is an Emmy Award winning political journalist who has worked for KUSA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Denver, Colorado and is now with Wisconsin Public Televisionas a Producer and Reporter. He is the author of gThe Principled Politician: The Ralph Carr Story.h

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