President Message
By Darren H. Nishioka, President

Darren Nishioka

As June unfolds, my year as Chamber President comes to an end. It has been a great learning experience, filled with many people, many places and wonderful  events. I will forever be grateful to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii and its members for providing me the opportunity to serve. It  has been my pleasure to get to know a lot of you and work with you during the past year. This is truly a great organization.

As I reflect upon the past year, I say without a doubt that the Chamber was really active and included some special events. The Chamber was involved early on  in the creation of the TMT Coalition in which many business organizations got together to support Thirty Meter Telescope. Last October, we were fortunate to  have Rear Admiral Yasuki Nakahata and the Japan Training Squadron visit Hawaii Island for the first time in 47 years. In January 2016, we held our 17th Annual  Golf Classic a couple of months earlier due to course renovations. In February 2016, the Chamber supported Keaau High School and the anniversary of the  NASA Challenger mission featuring a reconstructed Space Shuttle Simulator. Also that month, your Chamber and county officials celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Yurihama Sister City Relationship with the County of Hawaii. These and many more events were made possible by all your support.
I would like to acknowledge all the hard working and dedicated individuals who serve the Chamber. Board members, chairpersons, committee members and the membership's wholehearted support and commitment make our Chamber special. Your desire to help makes our Chamber strong. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for all that you do, all that you have done and for your continuous support throughout the past year. Mahalo!

The 66th Annual Installation & General Membership Meeting was held on June 8, 2016 at the Grand Naniloa Hotel. Russell Arikawa was installed as the new President of JCCIH. A dozen friends from the Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry traveled to Hawaii to help us celebrate and visit the islands.

As we move forward, I know incoming President Russell Arikawa and his team of officers will lead our organization with integrity and professionalism. I have worked with your officers for the past year and can personally tell you that they will represent the Chamber well, will uphold our values and traditions and will work to ensure we have a strong business voice in the community.

During the installation ceremonies earlier this month that included guests from our sister chamber, Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japan, outgoing Presdient Darren Nishioka handed over the gavel to the 2016-17 President Russell Arikawa.  Arikawa called on all officers and members to help the Chamber provide services to the community.

Hawaii Community College Update
By Joni Onishi, Interim Chancellor

After an intensive search process, a new chancellor has been chosen for Hawai'i Community College.

The University of Hawai'i Board of Regents unanimously approved the appointment of Rachel Solemsaas as Chancellor of the college; her appointment begins July 1.
Solemsaas currently serves  as the vice president for finan ce and administrative services at Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada. She previously served as vice president for administrative services at Bellevue College and vice president for finance and operations at Edmonds Community College, both in Washington. 

She has more than 27 years of progressive public service experience that includes 12 years at community colleges; she also served as a chief financial officer, finance director and principal accountant in Washington. 

Solemsaas is president of the National Asian Pacific Islander Council, an affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Her leadership has guided Truckee Meadows Community College through a financial crisis and development of a budget process that is participatory and
transparent. Solemsaas has led her teams through major construction project completion, on budget and on time with unique financing options.

A 19-member screening committee that included faculty, staff, administrators and community members led the hiring process.

After nationwide advertising for the position, the committee conducted interviews and selected four finalists. The four candidates appeared at open forums at the Manono campus in Hilo and the Pālamanui campus in Kona. The open forums provided an important opportunity for faculty, staff, students and community members to assess the candidates, ask questions and provide input into the selection process. 

Following the screening and interview process, Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton, Ph.D. conducted his own review of the candidates and  presented his recommendation to the Board of Regents. 

We look forward to welcoming Chancellor Solemsaas to the campus and the community.

A Decade Plus of Stewardship
By Stephanie Nagata, Director
Office of Mauna Kea Management
Our mission is to Stephanie Nagataachieve harmony, balance and trust in the sustainable management and stewardship of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve through community involvement and programs that protect, preserve and enhance the natural, cultural and recreational resources of Maunakea while providing a world-class center dedicated to education, research and astronomy. 

Achieving harmony, balance and trust is challenging given wide-ranging cultural, scientific and community interests coupled with the turbulence we've witnessed, but we continue our focus on doing what's right for Maunakea. 

Recent news-making events have detracted from notice of the great strides in the management of Maunakea by OMKM, Mauna Kea Management Board, Kahu Ku Mauna and community volunteers over the past 16 years.

We are filled with an even greater sense of kuleana, of responsibility, to fulfill our mission on Maunakea. Over the years, we have implemented numerous
management initiatives resulting in positive change in the 11,300-acre Science Reserve.

The 2009 Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan, and its four sub plans focusing on the management of cultural and natural resources, decommissioning of telescopes, and public access, guide us on our path moving forward. These management plans were approved after an open and transparent public process that included extensive consultation with many stakeholders.

Here's an example of how natural resources are being preserved and protected on Maunakea. Community members have rallied behind our Malama Maunakea initiatives that focus on invasive species weed pulls and replanting the endangered silversword. This work, done by many hands, is making a difference. Over the past five years, 984 individuals have volunteered during 37 weed pulls culminating in 7,159 volunteer hours and 1,523 bags of fire weed pulled. These impressive numbers were achieved thanks to many community volunteers including Chamber members. Keep the sunscreen handy as future trips to eradicate fireweed are ongoing. 

Our work on the mountain is based on research to establish baseline inventories followed by monitoring of the status of the resources. Take, for example, the indigenous wekiu bug, once a candidate for federal protection. Jesse Eiben, Ph.D., UH Hilo, spent a decade studying the wekiu's life cycle and habitat requirements. Using this knowledge and 13 years of surveys, OMKM management resource management plans and actions, prompted the US Fish & Wildlife Service to remove the wekiu bug as a candidate for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. US Fish & Wildlife in their report stated, "The protection and monitoring of the wekiu bug provided through the management plans for Mauna Kea have precluded the need to list this species." 

OMKM has also completed an archaeological inventory of the entire 11,300 acres under our management. This was no easy task. The site, the elevation and its harsh weather conditions required nearly five years to complete the inventory. We now have a documented baseline of cultural resources on the mountain. This baseline information will help us to preserve the cultural landscape for the benefit of practitioners, historians and the public. 

This physical inventory complements the collection of native traditions, historical accounts and oral history previously commissioned from noted historian Kepa Maly and his Kumu Pono Associates group. 

These initiatives and more are helping the Office of Mauna Kea Management to maintain and preserve this cultural legacy and the natural resources for future generations. 

There is much to share on the great work that the Rangers are doing to protect the public, I'll wait report back with the next issue.


TMT Observatory Update
By Sandra Dawson, Site Manager
Sandra Dawson

TMT is extremely thankful to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii members for the many years of strong support you have given to our

I was honored to speak at the annual Installation & General Membership Meeting where I reconnected with old friends and met many new ones. As I read  through the list of past presidents in the evening's program, I was reminded of the strong leadership this Chamber has had over the years. I look forward to  working with President Russell Arikawa and the new 2016 executive officers and directors as we continue to move forward promoting a sustainable economic  environment in which businesses can flourish and provide meaningful jobs that foster a healthy and vibrant community. 

We've been on a long journey together and a lot has happened since we first met with you in 2006 to discuss the possibility of building a next generation telescope on Mauna Kea.

With your help and support we successfully navigated the state's process and acquired a Conservation District Use Permit in 2012 to build on Mauna Kea. TMT is  about to embark on a new contested case process. It goes without saying that the project is at a crossroads. 

Without question, Mauna Kea is the best location in the world to study the stars and the clear sky above Mauna Kea is one of Hawaii's most valuable natural  resources. Mauna Kea was and has always been TMT's first choice. 

That said, we firmly believe that spirituality and science can coexist on Mauna Kea as it has for over 50 years.

There's a lot at stake here.  TMT's local economic impact is huge-300 local union construction jobs, $26 million annually in telescope operations and about 140 long-term, high paying,  high tech jobs. We've made a commitment to fill these positions with as many Hawaii residents as possible.

TMT's community benefit package is unprecedented.  TMT launched The Hawaii Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund in 2014 to better prepare Hawaii Island students to master STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum and to become the workforce for higher paying science and technology jobs in Hawaii's 21st century economy. TMT makes an  annual contribution of $1 million (we've funded $2 million to date) to the Fund, which is administered by the Hawaii Community Foundation and Pauahi 

TMT has also initiated a Workforce Pipeline Program, working with the State DOE, University of Hawaii-Hilo, Hawaii Community College, Hawaii County  government, and nonprofit organizations to strengthen STEM skills infrastructure at UH Hilo, HCC and K-12 education organizations serving low income and  first-generation college attending populations. 

As I write this column, the TMT Contested Case Hearing regarding the Conservation District Use Application is scheduled to start again and we need your help.

We will continue to communicate with you as we move through the process. Please plan to attend the various hearings and sign wavings and show your  support for TMT. 

All of us at TMT are so appreciative of your continued support and kokua.




Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) - A New Vision And How Hawaii Island Stands to Benefit.
By Yu Yok Pearring,
Education Committee Co-Chair
Yu Yok Pearring
The State of Hawaii has enjoyed four straight years of record-setting visitor arrivals and visitor expenditures and 2016 is looking strong, the new President and  CEO of Hawaii Tourism Authority, George Szigeti, told Chamber members and community folks at a mid-May luncheon.

During the luncheon, organized by the Chamber's Education and Economic Development Committees, a question was posed whether the State's marketing of  the Hawaiian Islands should simply stay the course and count on continued success? Szigeti thinks not.

Formerly a long-time business leader in Hawaii's private sector, Szigeti has brought a fresh perspective to running the HTA, captured by one of his favorite  expressions: "You manage business when business is at its best." 

Szigeti provided an update as to how HTA, the State's tourism agency, is adapting marketing efforts of the Hawaiian Islands to meet the evolving demands of  today's global travelers. He also addressed how Hawaii Island fits into this new model for marketing and how the island's tourism industry stands to benefit. As  reported in Hawaii Tribune-Herald's article on May 13, Szigeti said the millennial population, ages 18-34, is larger than the baby boomers and, are harder to  please. They are seeking the authentic experience in their travels, so it is important to "Keep Hilo, Hilo." 

Ross Birch, Executive Director of Hawaii Island Visitors Bureau, added that even though tourism numbers for the island are on a four-year incline there's still a  lot of capacity. The important thing is to achieve sustainable growth over the years instead of having it all at once. 

Top row, left to right: Carol VanCamp, Darren Nishioka, Yu Yok Pearring, Ross Birch, and Kai Kahele
Bottom row, left to right:  George Szigeti, Gerald De Mello, and Charlene Chan

3rd Annual Tanabata Festival - July 7, 2016

Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., everyone! Join us at Subaru Telescope-NAOJ facility at 650 N. A'ohoku Place in Hilo for a  culturally enriching and fun event to celebrate the Tanabata Festival. 

Jointly brought to you by the Education and Social & Culture Committees, this event has grown from its inception two years ago with the goal to introduce  Tanabata Festival (a Japanese cultural event) to the community by Subaru staff and for them to connect with members of the
Chamber and from the  community. 

Planning for this July 7th event is well underway with JCCIH members, Subaru staff and volunteers from the community working on the Tanabata origami  ornaments for decoration, the Tanzaku paper for attendees to write their wishes on, the program for entertainment and the food to feed everyone. All this for  only $15 per person! Capacity is limited, so please make your reservations before June 24!

Subaru staff and JCCIH members preparing origami ornaments for decoration.




18th Annual
Taste of Hilo Event
By Ryan Kajikawa, 

Ready for a subarashii time? 

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii - 18th Annual Taste of Hilo is scheduled for Sunday, October 16, 2016 at Sangha Hall from 1  p.m. to 3 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are just $50 and $65 at the door if still available.   Children age 2 and under FREE with paid adult. Proceeds to benefit the Hawaii Community College. 

Ticket Kick-Off sale began at our 66th Annual Installation and General Membership Meeting.  Pre-sale tickets are available, contact Lei Momi Pillers at the Chamber Office 934-0177.

Mahalo nui loa to President Darren Nishioka for your leadership and support over the fiscal year! Congratulations to our incoming President Russell Arikawa, long-time TOH committee member and past Co-Chair!

Your TOH committee members are working hard to make this year's event the best yet!!

A Taste of Hilo

Hawaii Island Economic Development Strategic Initiative
By Carol VanCamp, Economic Dev. Chairperson
The Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii is collaborating with the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, UH-Hilo, business and community  leaders to assess the potential of initiating a comprehensive strategy for improving our island economy and bring new businesses, jobs and prosperity to Hawaii Island and our state.

Krishna Dhir, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Business & Economics at UH-Hilo, recently addressed more than 50 local leaders about the success that the  community of Rome, Georgia has had with its 20/20 strategy aimed at bringing greater prosperity and quality of life to its city and surrounding county. As an  initiative of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce, key partners in the effort included county and city government leaders, educational institutions and  industries, AND business. The initiative, formed in 1997, was named "Partners in Prosperity" and is now in the third five-year phase with results so impressive  that NBC Nightly News Anchor Tom Brokaw highlighted its success. The group set a goal to raise 2.1 million from the private sector (60 companies) to fund  many initiatives, and has already secured $1.52 million.

The Rome, Georgia Prosperity Plan:

As a starting point, the group interviewed citizens and gathered data on important economic and demographic indicators and then analyzed major challenges  and concerns, including:
  • Population of Rome - 37,000 - County - 95,000
  • Re-routing of major expressway (I-75) away from Rome.
  • Loss of 1,795 jobs from business closings between 1997 and 2002.
  • Slow growth rates and loss of young people due to limited job opportunities (in comparison to the rest of the state).
  • Increasing high school dropout rates and teen pregnancies (compared to the rest of the state).
  • Alienated educators and a poor image of labor-management relations.
From this, the initiative established five major objectives with multiple strategies for each:
  • Build a stronger economy.
  • Build a more skilled workforce.
  • Protect & improve quality of life assets.
  • Build quality physical infrastructure for growth.
  • Make more efficient use of government resources.

Major accomplishments as of Phase III:

  • More than $679 million in capital improvements by new and existing businesses.
  • Between 2003 and 2015, 4,557 new jobs have been created.
Expansion of the healthcare industry - 60% increase in number of medical doctors.  Targeted areas of technology and business, advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics and secondary targets that include diversified  healthcare operations and tourism. 
  • Rome is now listed in "Where to Retire" as one of the top eight places in the US based upon value per tax dollar.
This presentation was just the first step in determining whether there is sufficient support from our business and community leaders to move forward with a  similar initiative for our county. A representative small group will be meeting this month to plan "next steps" and determine the path forward for success. Our  Chamber will remain actively involved in this initiative.

Current Benefits for Members

Please check out the current benefits and discounts that you can take advantage of as a JCCIH member!   


Gina Tanouye, Allstate - Speegle Insurance Agency is dedicated to providing outstanding service with Aloha for your auto, home, renters, life insurance and financial service needs. For every referral the office receives, the member will receive a $10 gift card for allowing them to provide an insurance quote.   Contact Gina Tanouye at 969-7767 or

Amelia Hayashi, Bob's Jewelers is offering members 30% off watches; 30% off gold jewelry (Po Son Hon collection excluded); and 30% off sterling silver jewelry.   Contact Amelia Hayashi at 935-8434. 

Offering up to 25% off legal services depending on case.   Contact Al Konishi 960-4072.

Diann Horita - With an office in Hilo, Eyewear Hilo has been serving Keaau, Papaikou, Kurtistown and Waimea for more than 4 years. Prior to beginning in Dec. 2008, the staff was employed by Eyewear Hawaii, Inc. and that same respected service is found at Eyewear Hilo.  When you desire superior cutting edge lens technology.
Members will receive a 20% discount.
Contact Diann Horita at 935-1119. 

Joy Madriaga, Hawaii Petroleum, Inc., HPI offers dependable bulk fuel and lubricant delivery services to all districts of the island. HPI's proprietary gas card program - Hawaii Fueling Network - provides a convenient, cost saving for businesses and consumers to fuel. Sign up for membership with Hawaii Fueling Network (HFN) and receive a discount per gallon on your gas purchases at any of our 13 locations. Fuel Up Do Good when you buy Fuel at any of our eight Islandwide Ohana Fuels retail locations a portion of your purchase goes to a Non-profit that serves our community. Contact Joy Madriaga at 969-1405 for further questions. Applications are available at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii.

Jieyu Sheparo, Kitchen & Beyond, LLC., offering 5% discount on items in store.   Contact Jieyu Sheparo at 935-2167.

Dawn Kanealii, Liko Lehua Cafe, offering 15% off entire bill.   Contact Dawn Kanealii at 936-9823.

Save up to 60% off a core list of more than 650 commonly purchased items. Additional deep savings on over 3,000+ items in OfficeMax's "Work Essentials" catalog.  Most other items will receive a 5% discount both online and in the store (excluding furniture and technology).  Contact Chamber office at 934-0177.

Sandy Wilson, Wilson's Trophies, provides awards for sports and academics; signs and banners; corporate awards and recognition, gifts & recognition; custom and personalized products (made to order); wood and acrylic crafting (laser engraving and designs); special occasions (Valentine's, Christmas, etc.); jewelry items (earrings, pendants, hair picks and more), also advertising promotional items. Members will receive awards discounts. C
ontact Sandy Wilson at 969-7077.   


 June 2016

June Kanji - Rokugatsu

In This Issue






What's Happening

 Thursday, July 7, 2016
3rd Annual Tanabata Festival
Subaru Telescope - NAOJ Facility
11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Monday, July 11, 2016
JCCIH Board Meeting
Hilo Yacht Club
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Monday, August 8, 2016
JCCIH Board Meeting
Hilo Yacht Club
11:30 am - 1:00 pm


Sunday, October 16, 2016

18th Annual Taste of Hilo Event

Hilo Honpa Hongwanji, Sangha Hall

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Tickets available at the chamber office

Call 934-0177.



Officers & Directors  


Executive Officers

Darren Nishioka, President

Russell Arikawa, 1st Vice President

Audrey Takamine, 2nd Vice President

Stephen Ueda, 3rd Vice President

Naomi Menor, Japanese Secretary

Joseph Skruch, Treasurer
Ivan Nakano, Auditor

David Honma, Immediate-Past President


Directors - term expiring 6/30/16

Nobuo Arimoto

Ross Birch

Laurie Correa

Charlene Iboshi

Michael Kaleikini

Ka'iu Kimura

Kimo Lee
Barry Mizuno

Nico Verissimo


Directors - term expiring 6/30/17

Jon Arizumi

Tommy Goya

Josie Kiyan

Peter Kubota

Phoebe Lambeth

Dwayne Mukai

Russell Oda

Nina Tanabe

Arthur Taniguchi

Gina Tanouye

Jere Usui 

Carol VanCamp

Directors - term expiring 6/30/18

Dean Fuke

Barbara Hastings

Ryan Kadota

Randy Kurohara

Amanda Lee

Joy Madriaga

Tracey Miura

Mike Miyahira

Chad Ogata

Allan Onishi

Francis Rickard

Rosie Sakane-Elarco

Debbie Shigehara

Toby Taniguchi


Oshirase Newsletter   

Barbara Hastings, Editor 
Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers, Executive Assistant    



Welcome New Members! 


Dan Brinkman

Hilo Medical Center

1190 Waianuenue Ave., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 932-3101 Alt. Ph: 932-3111



Donavan Enanoria

Fukunaga Electrical Inc.

P. O. Box 4189, Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  959-6423  Fax:  981-2164


Susan Lee Loy

Lee Loy Concepts

498 Auwae Rd., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  895-9545



Ruth Raza

Raza Care Home/Expanded ARCH

61 Kehaulani St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 854-5155   Alt. Ph: 959-3166   Fax:  959-5751






HELCO 2013-2014

Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014

Kama'aina Motors





Direct Link 2013-2014


Kama'aina Nissan

Creative Arts 2013-2014



HPM 2015-2016


Allstate 2015-2016

HELCO 2013-2014

Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014

Kama'aina Motors





Direct Link 2013-2014


Kama'aina Nissan

Creative Arts 2013-2014




Allstate 2015-2016

© 2011 Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai'i 

714 Kanoelehua Avenue
Hilo, Hawai'i 96720-4565
Phone: 808-934-0177
Fax: 808-934-0178  

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