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Ecuador trade chief Richard Moss’ eight-day visit to Japan beginning June 23 will be a sentimental journey.

Moss, who last visited Japan in March with President Gustavo Noboa, will make the trip to hold talks with government and business leaders on ways to boost bilateral economic relations.

On this trip, however, Moss, 42, will be able to do something he was unable to do on his last visit — pay homage to his great-grandparents, who are buried at the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery, or Gaikokujin-Bochi as it is known in Japanese.

His grandfather on his father’s side, Robert Moss, came to Japan from the U.S. in 1910 and served in Tokyo as an honorary Paraguay consul for 25 years.

Robert Moss married Sybil Howard, who was born in Yokohama. Howard’s parents, Benjamin and Nellie Howard, came to Japan from the U.S. in 1884 as employees of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.

At the time, Benjamin and Nellie Howard were among only five U.S. nationals living in Yokohama. Moss’ great-grandfather served as a Hawaiian Republic consul in Yokohama between 1895 and 1896 and held other important posts.

The Ecuador trade minister’s father, also named Richard Moss, was born in Yokohama. He married Stella Ferreira, the daughter of the head of the first Paraguayan trade mission to Japan, in 1950. After World War II, Moss Sr. went to Ecuador, where he made great contributions to boosting banana exports to Japan from the Latin American country.

In the 1980s, the Ecuador trade minister studied at Doshisha University and Keio University.

While in Japan, Moss will also visit Tottori Prefecture for two days to thank local citizens for hosting a training camp for the Ecuador World Cup team.

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