I am writing this article in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I am staying now. I have never visited Brazil, one of the largest countries in the world, and I have always wanted to come to Brazil at least once in my life. As you can see, Brazil is right at the back of Japan on a globe, and it is the farthest country from Japan in the world. As a matter of fact, it was indeed the remotest country from Japan – my trip proved it. After 12 hours from Narita, I stopped off at Zurich Airport, Switzerland for a transit flight, and there, I took a rest for seven hours. After another 12 hours from Zurich, I finally arrived at Sao Paulo Airport.
The time difference is exactly 12 hours so that I only need to read my wrist watch’s hands as they are reversing the day and the night. Because of this time difference, I am sleepy in the daytime and cannot sleep at night. Since Brazil is located in the Southern Hemisphere, summer and winter between the two countries are reversed. In spite of scorching summer heat in Japan, it is now winter in Brazil. It is similar to the climate in February in Japan, and it is chilly here.
Brazil is really a country of immigrants. The total number of Japanese migrants to other countries in the world is estimated at 3.5 million, and out of the total, the number of Japanese immigrants in Brazil is 1.9 million. Out of 1.9 million, 1.5 million immigrants reside in Sao Paulo. In commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the first arrival of Japanese immigrants in Brazil, a large ceremony was held in San Paulo on July 21. Princess Mako gave a speech to celebrate the 110th anniversary. The princess is the first child of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, and the eldest grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. It is also reported that Mr. Hiroshi Ogawa, Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture, and Mr. Jungo Inoue, Chairman of Fukuoka Prefectural Assembly, attended the ceremony.
I exchanged greetings with the chairman and other staff of the Association of People from Fukuoka Prefecture in Brazil at the Consulate-General of Japan.
(To be continued.)