David B. Iwaasa

David B. Iwaasa is a third generation Japanese-Canadian, born in Raymond, Alberta in 1948. His grandfather emigrated to Canada from Hiroshima-ken in 1898. David received a BA in economics from the University of Lethbridge, did post-graduate studies in Kyoto University in Japan and received an MA in economics from the University of British Columbia. He joined the Canadian federal Department of Finance in 1975 and worked in Ottawa; Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; and Tokyo, Japan. He headed the office of the Canadian Wheat Board in Tokyo from 1997 to 2006 and presided over a Church mission in Fukuoka from 2006 to 2009. He served as the Executive Director of the Japanese Community Volunteers Association (Tonari Gumi) in Vancouver from 2010 to 2014. David is currently retired and is serving as volunteer Chair of Tonari Gumi. He is married to Jane (nee) Kadonaga with four children and ten grandchildren.

Updated November 2019

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Rediscovering the Sugar Beet Fields 77 Years Later

During the week of October 7, 2019, a shiny white highway bus containing some 43 Japanese Canadians once again travelled the roads and streets between Lethbridge, Raymond, Picture Butte and Taber, some 77 years after approximately 2,250 exhausted and traumatized Japanese Canadians arrived in dusty, dilapidated railway cars as part of the federal government’s forced removal of Japanese Canadians from the Pacific Coast in 1942. This first sugar beet bus tour was a collaboration, with me providing some of the narrative and the Nikkei National Museum in Burnaby providing logistical and hist…

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