TECTONIC BROTHERHOOD: Ties between the San Fernando...
TECTONIC BROTHERHOOD: Ties between the San Fernando Valley and Japan are many and strong. But for all its stature on the Pacific Rim, L.A. has only a minority of California’s Japanese American population (above) . . . outnumbered in the Valley by Americans of Filipino, Chinese and Asian Indian heritage.
TEA AND SYMPATHY: The Japan America Society of Southern California, raising aid for Kobe victims, reports financial support flowing in from Northridge quake victims accompanied by regrets that they can’t send more because they’re still homeless, jobless or rebuilding. . . . The society’s Steve Barth got one with a simple note attached: “To help feed the children--From a Jewish Grandmother.”
SOME DAY IN THE PARK: L.A. city parks officials are trading quake survival tips with the Japanese research center of Tsukabu City. A Japanese delegation was here last spring, studying the role parks played after the Northridge quake. L.A. park officials go to Kobe in April. . . . Their goal: to design recreation centers that convert instantly to disaster evacuation facilities.
KONICHIWA, MICKEY: After suffering through Euro Disney’s disastrous debut in France and the townspeople-storm-the-castle hostility that greeted its Virginia plans, the Disney people should be tickled over continuing success of Tokyo Disneyland. . . . Big catch: Due partly to stringent controls over foreigners owning Japanese land, a Japanese holding company owns the park. Disney’s Burbank headquarters just collects licensing and other fees.
SHARKS, DINOSAURS: The success of California-style family fun hasn’t escaped MCA / Universal, the Universal City entertainment giant owned by Japan’s Matsushita. MCA, which operates the Universal Studios theme parks, plans another on Osaka Bay--right across the water from Kobe--using themes from Universal movies like “Jaws,” “E. T.” and “Jurassic Park,” pop-culture hits in Japan . . . The plans are still on, says MCA, with construction to begin in 1996.
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Nearly 30% of the residents of Japanese heritage in Los Angeles live in the San Fernando Valley. California: 320,730 Los Angeles: 45,322 Valley: 13,375 Source: 1990 U.S. Census