President Message
By Darren H. Nishioka, President

Darren Nishioka
Aloha! 2016 appears to be moving along quickly and your chamber continues to have a full schedule. As we enter the fourth quarter of our fiscal year 2015-2016, I would like to once again say Mahalo to all of you for your continued commitment and dedication to the chamber and our community. 
On February 17, the chamber presented a $10,000 check from the 17th annual TOH proceeds to Chancellor Joni Onishi of Hawaii Community College. The Taste of Hilo (TOH) committee was treated to a luncheon hosted by HCC in appreciation for the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii's support. Everyone enjoyed the fellowship and delicious food prepared by the culinary students. Congratulations go out to Tri-Chairs Russell Arikawa, Craig Shiroma and Ryan Kajikawa on a successful event. Mahalo to the TOH committee and volunteers for all their hard work, time and dedication! You did an outstanding job!

From left to right: Russell Arikawa, Ryan Kajikawa, Joni Onishi, Darren Nishioka and Craig Shiroma
Mahalo to the Taste of Hilo Committee for their hard work and dedication.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between the County of Hawaii and Yurihama City. This friendship, begun on October 16, 1996, has continued to flourish. Yurihama City is known for its annual Hawaiian Festival each July. This will mark the 17th year of the festival, which draws hula halau from across Japan as well as from Hawaii, to celebrate hula, music and culture.

Yurihama Government Officials and

JCCIH members

To mark the anniversary of the Sister Cities, the chamber worked closely with county officials to coordinate the celebration. Yurihama delegates Mayor Masamichi Miyawaki, Council Chair Tetsuhara Mitsui, Chamber President Mamoru Nakashima and International Relations Coordinator Julianna Keleher visited Hawaii Island February 18-21. The official welcome dinner at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel included government and community officials who greeted our guests and celebrated the sister city relationship. A tree planting ceremony at Liliuokalani Park earlier that day memorialized the 20th anniversary and was followed by a Tea Ceremony performed by the Urasenke Hilo Association in honor of our distinguished guests. The next couple of days were filled with tours of Hawaii Island showcasing both East and West Hawaii. This very enjoyable event was made possible through the collaboration County of Hawaii of many. Mahalo goes out to Randy Kurohara, Donn Mende, Charmaine Shigemura and Ilihia Gionson from the county for such a great job in planning and supporting the three-day event. A big Mahalo goes out to the JCCIH officers, past presidents and volunteers who welcomed and hosted our Yurihama guests. A very special thanks goes to Amy Aoyagi for her dedication in building, preserving and promoting our Yurihama friendship.

The Goji-Kara event, Speed Networking, on March 2, 2016 at the Hilo Hawaiian was a great opportunity for our new members to meet existing chamber members. It was also a chance for chairpersons to talk about their committees, introduce new members to what we do as a chamber and what we do for the community. The Social & Cultural committee did an awesome job and Chairperson Gina Tanouye excelled as our official timer for networking rounds. Thank you to everyone who attended. We look forward to seeing more of you at the next event.

On March 4, Tommy Goya, Russell Arikawa, Audrey Takamine and Steve Ueda represented the chamber at a meeting with the TMT International Observatory Corporation's Vice-Chair Masanori Iye, Sandra Dawson and Ross Wilson. Dr. Iye conveyed his gratitude for the support provided by the chamber and requested continued support as this project goes through the permit process once again.

From left to right: Steve Ueda, Tommy Goya, Masanori Iye, Darren Nishioka, Sandra Dawson, Audrey Takamine and Russell Arikawa

On March 23, a General Membership Meeting was held in conjunction with the County of Hawaii update presented by Mayor William P. Kenoi. The business portion consisted primarily of the submission and approval of the 2016-17 Slate of Officers and Directors, announcement of our new members followed by a session with Mayor Kenoi covering updates regarding the Hawaii County. Mahalo to Randy Kurohara, Carol VanCamp and chamber volunteers for planning this event and making it a success.

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu

Japanese Community Association of Hawaii

Coming Events
Kodomo No Matsuri
Children's Day Festival
Saturday, May 14, 2016
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Sangha Hall

Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble
One performance only!! Saturday, May 14, 2016
6:00 PM
Sangha Hall
ADMISSION:  $20.00
KTA_logo_color Tickets on sale at
KTA Super Stores
Puainako & Downtown Hilo
Starting April 14, 2016

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.

Bernard Balsis,  IEG Federal Credit Union.  Special only for members of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) - 25 basis point (1/4%) reduction on regular consumer loans at IEG FCU (Independent Employers Group FCU). These include regular personal loans and vehicle loans.  Exclusions are but not limited to lines of credit, mortgage, business and Home Equity Loans.  Usual loan qualifications apply. 
Contact Bernard Balsis at 961-6691

OFFER EXPIRES:  April 30, 2016

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.   

Blue Zones Worksite Tip
By Jana Ortiz-Misiaszek, Blue Zones Worksite Coordinator

Does your worksite have walking routes throughout the indoor facility and external campus/parking areas? If not, identify both indoor and outdoor spaces that can be designated as walking paths. Calculate the average number of steps it takes to complete each route. For indoors, be creative and include stairwells and other "off-the-beaten-path" areas within a building. Use signage to highlight the routes and distance markers.

Why do it? Walking can give you more energy, clear your thoughts, and help alleviate stress. Activities such as walking in several ten-minute intervals throughout the day can positively impact calories burned and improve overall health.

From left to right:
Ed Hara, Hawaii Printing Corporation
Jana Ortiz-Misiaszek, Blue Zones Worksite Coordinator
Darice Cullio, Central Pacific Bank
Carol Ignacio, Blue Zones Community Coordinator
Randy Kurohara, County of Hawaii Deputy Managing Director 

Save The Date
Upcoming Educational Events 
By:  Charlene Iboshi, Education Committee Co-Chair

Hawaii Tourism Authority Update with Director George Szigeti - Thursday, May 12th, 11:30 am- 1:00 pm, at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku'ola Ballroom.

Tanabata Festival -- Where Astronomy and Culture Build Traditions Together. Thursday, July 7th - learn, have fun and "catch" your Nagashi Somen.  

JCCIH's 3rd Annual Tanabata Event is brought to you through a collaboration with Subaru staff and our community. We will explore the Japanese cultural folklore and traditions explaining astronomical events. The Education and Social and Cultural Committees seek enthusiastic volunteers to build this experience. Get more information by emailing us at


Speed Networking, Mix & Mingle
By Irene Nagao, Social & Cultural and Membership Committee

It was a fun event and a great chance to meet members we did not know, like
Carol Gristock, new owner of the Computer Store. She held up strips of cardboard that listed the different services they offer and explained each one as she flipped through the cards. What an effective way to advertise that did not cost anything.
Also, met  Lawrence and  Dawn Cabral of the Sweet Thunder Products. I told them I loved the way they had someone hold up their signs on the street to advertise their business. I told them I am retired and handed out my Melaleuca business cards as I buy the products but don't sell them and that was the only business card I had. We had a fun conversation about the great Melaleuca products. As I met Josie Kiyan from HELCO I told her about the three-hour power outage I experienced recently and how I fumbled through the dark looking for some light and the only light I could find was my alarm clock. Need to be better prepared for any future outages.

It was fun meeting up with old timers too, like  Shinichi Matsumoto of Seniors Helping Seniors; the  Ogatas ;
Jerry Chang, and others, and ending the event with  Russell Arikawa displaying some senior moments as he explained the upcoming events, and asking for our help as he becomes the new chamber president this July. He really had us laughing-must have been the wine.

Ono food, and great ambiance at the Wai`oli Lounge! -Mahalo to Greg Arianoff.

Mayor Kenoi Presents Annual County Outlook to JCCIH
By Carol VanCamp, Economic Development Committee Chairperson

At the Chamber's March 23rd General Membership meeting, Mayor Billy Kenoi outlined an impressive summary of the county's major island-wide initiatives and accomplishments over the years of his administration.

A crowd of 125 Chamber members, county officials and other guests gathered at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel to hear the Mayor's annual update and plans for his final months in office.

A major focus has been to ensure that the county operated under a balanced budget that also allowed for necessary repair and maintenance projects, and other initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life on Hawaii Island for both residents and visitors.

Improved and new parks and playgrounds across the island have been another emphasis, which has included Mauna Kea Recreation Area, Kailua Park, Isaac Hale Beach Park, Pana'ewa Park, Pahala Community Center, Pana'ewa Zoo, Na'alehu Park, Honoka'a Park, Carvalho Park, Waiakea Uka Park, Mountain View Park and William Charles Lunalilo Playground. Planning is underway for new parks in Hawaiian Paradise Park and Waimea, and a new a new playing field across Kuawa Street from Walter Victor Stadium.

Several road projects have also already been completed or are underway, including Kamehameha Highway along Bayfront, Manono Street, Komohana, and the Kapiolani Street extension near UH-Hilo.

Another ongoing project has been a "healthy families, healthy community" program highlighted by the Blue Zones Project. He also talked about efforts to farmers and the agriculture industry. tRelated to energy, the county has been committed to installing alternative systems wherever possible, and in expanding recycling opportunities through the county solid waste program. Another highlight was the redesigned Building Permit system that began in July, aimed at improving the process and reducing the time it takes to secure county building permits.

In addition to these new or continuing initiatives, Mayor Kenoi has also had to lead the response to numerous natural disasters or health threats during his administration, including tsunami threats, Hurricane Issele, the Puna lava flow, and most recently, the dengue fever and Zika bug threats.

Mayor Kenoi praised the teamwork and can-do attitudes his department heads and their staff for their important roles in making all of these projects possible. He also noted that the county's unemployment rate has moved from a high of more than 10% in 2009 to 3.8% in early 2016, which is indicative of an improved and expanding economy.


Hawaii Community College Update
By Joni Onishi, Interim Chancellor


If you like delicious food and dazzling culinary displays, I encourage you to attend the 18th Annual Hilo Culinary Classic, Friday, April 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Culinary Classic is the capstone for second-year Culinary Arts students, who work incredibly hard to complete displays that run the gamut from savory multi-course meals, inventive desserts, hors d'oeuvres, celebration cakes and edible art pieces.

Local chefs judge the creations based on presentation, nutritional balance, thematic balance, workmanship, practicality, creativity and composition. Awards are presented during the public exposition.

First-year Culinary Arts students present a heavy pupu buffet for attendees.  Culinary Arts is one of our most popular programs and has produced successful chefs who work on Hawai'i Island, elsewhere in the state and on the mainland. 

In recent years, the program has taken a "local first" approach, with much of the food they use coming from local farmers and fishermen.

Emphasizing local food aligns with the goal of sustainability in the University of Hawai'i's mission: "Within its unique geographical location, the university will serve as a leader in how it stewards the resources of the islands and the world for the benefit of all. The university shall be a global leader and model for the integration of sustainability throughout its teaching, research, operations, and public service."

As part of their studies, Culinary Arts students take field trips to farms, orchards, aquaculture operations and other producers where they learn about island products and create lasting bonds with local farmers.

The Culinary Classic is always a fun event that allows the public and students' families and friends to witness the knowledge and skills the students have gained while studying at Hawai'i CC.

Tickets are $9.50 and are available at the Hawai'i CC Cafeteria, Bamboo Hale and from the culinary students on campus. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Office of Maunakea Management in the Community
By Stephanie Nagata, Director
Stephanie Nagata
OMKM enjoys going into the community to share Maunakea's varied and unique natural, cultural and scientific resources and our efforts to protect them. Our most recent community event, the Panaewa Homestead Community Association's Prince Kuhio Day celebration on March 26, was a day of fun for the keiki - Easter egg hunt, water slide, train ride, and shave ice - all-day music, and ono food!

We were ecstatic when OMKM and the Maunakea observatories were invited to help celebrate Prince Kuhio's 145th birthday. OMKM offered coloring activities of native and endemic plants, insects and birds, and gave out trading cards describing some of Maunakea's unique species.

On display and show-and-tell were "bug boxes" showcasing the insects found on Maunakea. There was even a live lycosid spider, a resident of the mountain, for keiki and adults to see crawling among the cinder.

Meanwhile, members of the Institute for Astronomy, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, Gemini, and Subaru telescopes shared fun astronomical activities and lots of take-home goodies. Some were lucky to find a prize in their Easter eggs for free hamburgers cooked by CFHT's director "Chef" Doug Simons. A big mahalo to Sack n Save, KTA Super Stores and Puna Geothermal Venture for donating prizes for the Easter egg hunt!

Our next community event is Kealakehe Elementary School's Science Fair, April 21. Kealakehe is celebrating its second annual Science Fair and has invited OMKM and the Maunakea observatories back for another day of fun science and discoveries. Our presence is to be the culmination of the day's students' science fair presentations and displays.

Kealakehe Keiki can learn about the stars in the portable star lab, discover some of the mysteries of science, and learn about Maunakea's unique flora and fauna. The next day OMKM will be participating in Earth Day showcasing UH Hilo's environmental programs and activities.

While we enjoy going into the community, we also invite the community to the mountain. OMKM's volunteer Saturday invasive weed pulls at Halepōhaku remain popular. I am happy to report that 228 people participated in weed pull events in 2015. They, along with OMKM staff, put in a total of 1,710 hours and pulled enough weeds to fill in 442 bags! Mahalo to all!

We continue to look for opportunities for community engagement. If anyone or any organization would like us to come and share what we do and Maunakea's resources, we would be happy to hear from you. Please contact us at, or by calling 933-0734. 


TMT Observatory Update
By Sandra Dawson, Site Manager
Sandra Dawson

The Thirty Meter Telescope is at a crossroads today in its attempt to build the next generation telescope in Hawaii. After eight years of working with the community and investments of nearly $4 million in Hawaii's economy, TMT must reassess the viability of building here due to continuing uncertainty. 

As you may recall, the Hawaii State Supreme Court revoked TMT's Conservation District Use Permit and remanded the CDUP back to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. In essence the high court ruled that the process that the State asked TMT to follow was wrong.

TMT is seeking a reasonable timeframe for again obtaining a permit to build, and seeking assurance of safe and peaceful access to its site on Maunakea.

Last week DLNR appointed retired Hawaii Island Judge Riki May Amano as the hearing officer, and a date for a new Contested Case process should be announced soon.

All of us at TMT appreciate that so many members of the JCCIH found the time to meet with Japan Representative and TMT International Observatory Governing Board Vice Chair Masanori Iye during his recent visit to Hilo. A special mahalo to President Darren Nishioka and First Vice President Russell Arikawa.

Mr. Iye spoke to his long involvement with Subaru and his history with the TMT project. He explained the synergy between the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan Subaru Telescope, TMT and the importance of Maunakea to astronomy.

Without question, Maunakea is the best location in the world to study the stars and the clear sky above Maunakea is one of Hawaii's most valuable natural resources.

Should Hawaii lose the TMT project, it would be more than just the loss of a major telescope, it would be a global disappointment.

The most important question for all Hawaii stakeholders is - what will Hawaii lose if it stops reaching for the stars?

Twelve Years..."The Journey" Continues to Support our Students
By: Charlene Iboshi, Education Committee Co-Chair

Charlene Iboshi
For a dozen years, "Journey Through the Universe," an educational collaboration with the local and international astronomy community and Hawaii Department of Education has been a success on Hawaii Island.

JCCIH and HICC supports the Astronomy Educators Reception to thank the astronomers, scientists, and engineers, who go into the schools to teach our students. This year 83 astronomy-educators visited with 6,500 students in the Hilo/Waiakea Complex Area.

JCCIH's Vice President  Russell Arikawa and HICC President  Ka'iu Kimura delivered supportive messages, within the backdrop of legal challenges facing astronomy's development on our island.

Over the 12 years the "Journey Through the Universe" program has encouraged our students to consider science, technology, engineering and math studies after high school, using astronomy to spark their interest.

It is with great pride I tell the world how both organizations support this grassroots program in our community," said Coordinator Janice Harvey, of Gemini Observatory. 

From left to right:  Carol VanCamp, Charlene Iboshi, Janice Harvey and Yu Yok Pearring

"The classrooms visits are outstanding. The messages delivered to our students...the knowledge they are's truly remarkable," she added. "I would encourage all of you to be ambassadors next year and accompany the scientists into the classroom. It's eye-opening, remarkable. Our students are extremely smart, as I have been told by many of our astronomers & engineers. The exposure to science over the past 12 years has made a difference, a big difference. With NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) now adopted by our state, our support of the DOE is more important than ever!"

The reception had over 125 attendees. Many JCCIH and HICC members served as Astronomy Educators and Ambassadors in the classrooms. Mahalo to Subaru Observatory, including  Dr. Nobuo Arimoto; PISCES, including  Rob Kelso, Gemini Observatory, Imiloa Astronomy Center, UH Hilo and Institute for Astronomy, TMT, NASA and NASA SSERVI, Canada France Hawaii Telescope, East Asian Observatory, Pacific Science Center, NOAO, Mauna Kea Resource Management Office, University of Oregon and University of California.

Sponsored by JCCIH and HICC






April 2016

In This Issue






What's Happening

May 12, 2016
Hawaii Tourism Authority Presentation
Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku'ola Ballroom
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
more information forthcoming
June 8, 2016
JCCIH 66th Annual Installation
Hilo Naniloa Hotel, Crown Room
more information forthcoming 
July 7, 2016
Tanabata Festival
more information forthcoming


October 16, 2016

18th Annual Taste of Hilo Event

Hilo Honpa Hongwanji, Sangha Hall

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Purchase your tickets early at the upcoming annual installation

Ticket Sale KICK-OFF!


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   

Amanda Lee, Editor 
Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers, Executive Assistant    



Welcome New Members! 


Tashanna Cortez

Infinity Professional Painting

364 Huali Place, Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 345-3086



Royce Ebesu, Jr.

Pyramid Insurance, Inc.

48 Kamana St., Ste. 103, Hilo, HI  96720

Ph: 969-7174

Alt Ph:  896-0859






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



HELCO 2013-2014

Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014

Kama'aina Motors





Direct Link 2013-2014


Kama'aina Nissan

Creative Arts 2013-2014

© 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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