The Consulate was closed on May 4, 1942. It was re-opened 10 years
later on May 20, 1952 by Consul Takeshi Yasukawa, following the
signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in September 1951.
The Consulate's re-opening coincided with a lessening of war-engendered
animosities and the gradual return of Japanese Canadians to Vancouver
and other coastal centres. It was a time of healing and aspiring
to greater harmony among people of all nationalities. Canadians
could be expected to remain loyal to Canada.
Less than a year later, in April 1953, those aspirations were given
an impressive boost with the visit to Vancouver of Crown Prince
Akihito (now Emperor). The Prince, who was then en route to England
for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, was accorded an enthusiastic
welcome by Japanese Canadians and the Vancouver community. The visit
itself was widely regarded as having contributed greatly to the
revival of close relations between Japan and Canada.
The Consul's residence was established on The Crescent in Shaughnessy
in 1926, but was sold by Canadian authorities to a private buyer
during the war. The property was re-purchased by the Japanese government
in 1958 and remains the Consul Generals official residence.
Hamako Watanabe at Tonari Gumi Seniors' Centre,
(Photo courtesy: Noriko Horita Okusa)