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The state that accepted Japanese-Americans

15 2 39

DENVER - I am writing this column in Denver, Colorado. For those non-American readers who may need clarification, this beautiful city is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains in America’s Wild West. Denver is nicknamed the “Mile-High City” because its elevation is one mile (1.6 km) above sea level, although I never felt that the air was thin.

The capital of Colorado is also well-known for its sunny weather. Denver claims that it has 300 days of sunshine per year. This time, unfortunately, I brought heavy snow with me.

I was invited by the Japan America Society of Colorado to speak with an old friend from Washington about issues related to Japan-U.S. security arrangements. He and I — a sort of team of manzai comedians — had spoken together in similar occasions at Indianapolis and Seattle last year. Denver was the third such event.

The relationship between Japan and Colorado has been fantastic, and not just because the state gets many Japanese tourists and is the home of hundreds of Japanese businesspeople. Friends in Denver told me that the relationship started in the 1940s after Japan went to war against the United States.

Ralph Lawrence Carr was the governor of Colorado from 1939 to 1943. He defeated an incumbent Democratic governor and was elected to a two-year term in 1938. Carr, a conservative Republican, was re-elected in 1940 and two years later he was unanimously nominated by the state Republican convention........

© The Japan Times