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Toyohiro Tanaka

Toyo Tanaka is the founder of the AJA of SA, and its first Life Member. Known to his friends as Toyo, he was a research student in Adelaide in 1967, and saw the need to build better relationships between Australia and Japan. With others who felt the same way, some with Japanese wives, he did something about it and 40 years of the AJA is the direct result. The AJA was very proud and pleased that Toyo could be present from Japan at the 40th Anniversary Dinner held on August 15th 2007, an occasion which was in large part a tribute to his vision and determination to make Australia and Japan friends. For this occasion he wrote as follows:

A message from Toyohiro Tanaka for the 40th Anniversary of AJA

I would like to sincerely congratulate the AJA of SA on their 40th anniversary. The Association was founded on the 15th August, 1967. Many people ask why the start of the Association was on the 15th August. As older people are aware, the last world war ended on this day 62 years ago, when Japan surrendered and proclaimed peace to the world. I thought it was most appropriate for the Association to be formed on this commemorative day with the aim of promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries which unfortunately fought fiercely against each other during the war.

40 years ago I was a research student doing Australian studies at the Adelaide University. The relationship between the two countries started getting closer in trading, and yet there was a very low level of understanding of each other. I thought it important to organize collectively promotions in developing friendship and mutual understanding between our two countries.

A small seed was then put into the ground in Adelaide. With sunshine and rain in South Australia and fertilizer support from the community the seed has successfully sprung up and during the last 40 years it has grown into a big tree playing a vital role in the mission.

Without dedicated support and hard work rendered by the founding committee and members and supporters, most of whom unfortunately are not still with us, the Association would not have enjoyed today’s prosperity. I would therefore like on this occasion to pay a special tribute to them, and express sincere appreciation to those who have since taken a very keen interest in the Association.

I do hope the Association will carry on such traditional spirits for many more years to come and continue to play an important role trying to fulfil the Association’s aim of developing friendship and mutual understanding between Australia and Japan. With heartfelt congratulations again and best wishes for future prosperity.

Toyo Tanaka,
August 2007






Stu McC,
14 Feb 2010, 17:37