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Arthur Muranaga, a Brazilian connection in Japan

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Johny Sasaki prepares to broadcast from the IPC studio in the Harumi Island Triton Square complex in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward.Photo: Courtesy IPC World Inc.

Arthur Muranaga, a Brazilian connection in Japan

Arthur Muranaga presides over a diverse business empire whose interests read like a one-stop shop for Japan’s Brazilian community. Providing everything from Portuguese-language TV, radio and magazines to phone cards and broadband internet, International Press Corp. (IPC) World Inc. even owns the Brasilica Grill Churrascaria, a Brazilian restaurant in Tokyo. With over 15,000 online news subscribers and 20,000 signed up for its satellite TV channel, IPC is the main domestic media source for Japan’s 190,000-strong Brazilian minority, said The Japan Times, in na article signed by Niccolas Farani.

The beginning of the 1990s saw the beginning of the dekasegi movement, when many Brazilians of Japanese descent were welcomed back to their ancestral land to fill gaps in Japan’s labor force, lured by the promise of higher wages. In Japanese, the word “dekasegi” means “working away from home,” but in Portuguese it has come to refer to ethnic Japanese Brazilian migrants to Japan.Yoshio saw a business opportunity when he realized Brazilians were deprived of things to read, craved information on their nation and, above all, were ready to pay. “At that time, a single photocopy cost ¥30, and magazines were usually roughly 100 pages,” Arthur says.