Dear Valued Members,

Thank you for your continued support of the Chamber through your membership dues and donations.  It continues to support our many programs/events. We have begun the new fiscal year under the leadership of Chair of the Board Rika Hirata and we thank Jason Ito, Immediate Past Chair for his outstanding leadership during these challenging times during FY2020-2021.

Our primary focus continues to be the Health and Safety for everyone.  The Pandemic has made us realize that we will continue to work from home for the current time.  This has led us to evaluate and raise the question how much office space is needed.  More so since our present fixed lease with our landlord who is the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii needs to be re-negotiated for the next 5 years before the end of December 2021.

Adjustments and changes are the new norm for all of us.  My staff led by Merilyn Oda, Mina Sakai and Mai Shiomi have been outstanding and are appreciated very much by me with this focus.  We continue to look for feedback from you to improve our programs. A survey is being created by the Membership Development committee to accomplish this goal.

Clearly another challenge is the Climate Change issue.  The Chamber has recognized this concern with the creation of a Managing Climate Change committee which has agreed to provide education about this challenge.  With the guidance of Brian Nishida (original chair) and committee chair Mark Glick we will focus on this objective with webinars and bulletins.

The primary difference of the Chamber compared to similar organizations is the involvement of our membership. Evidence of this culture is the following recognition awards.  Congratulations to Jill Kuramoto and Peter Hamasaki for their selection as Outstanding Member of the year and the selection by the staff of Arnold Hirotsu as the Kuroko recipient which signifies someone who continues to work behind the scene for the Chamber.

Let’s all do our part by taking available vaccinations, wearing face masks and maintaining social distance to combat the Pandemic which faces all of us.

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Wayne T. Ishihara
President & CEO
Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce
(808) 949-5531 x1
[email protected]

July 2021