The Japanese Community
In 1936, La Colmena was selected as the first Japanese colony in Paraguay. Groups of Japanese immigrants continued arriving until 1941, making the total 132 families (890 people) in the territory of La Colmena. During this first stage, the immigrants had to grapple with dense forests as they transformed the land into agricultural areas for cotton, citrus, rice, sugar cane, and others.
Afterwards, as a result of Japan’s participation in World War II, the Nikkei colony in La Colmena was placed under supervision for 11 years. This lasted until 1952, the year in which the Paraguayan Parliament ratified the Peace Treaty with the country, effectively putting an end to the intervention program.
In the post-war era, in 1952, the Paraguayan government authorized the arrival of 120 new immigrant families. Following World War II, it was necessary to reconstruct the colonies, which brought about another new group of immigrant arrivals to La Colmena in 1954. The exhaustion of the land, however, led to a much smaller arrival of only six more families to the area. Nevertheless, in 1955, the south of Paraguay received six more Japanese families, an event which led to the opportunity for more immigrants in the future.
In 1960, for the first time, Japanese agriculturists managed to send a shipment to Japan of 360 tons of soy produced in Paraguay. This achievement served to mark soy as an exportable product within the local economy.
In 1963, a new group of Japanese immigrants arrived to the Yguazú colony. In this community, it became possible to apply all of the experience accumulated since the first incursion into the country.