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President Message
By Russell M. Arikawa, President

russellarikawa Aloha Kakou!

By golly, it is 2017 already. Happy New Year everyone! The year of the rooster is off to a great start.

We had a great GMM on December 8. 2nd Vice-President and Economic Development Chair Steve Ueda, along with Carol VanCamp, put together a great group of energy experts that provided the audience with useful information. Carol was absent due to a knee injury; however, she ran the team like a quarterback should and then Steve picked up the ball and did a fantastic job. Mahalo to both of you and your committee.

Shinnenkais dominated the month of January. Shinnenkai literally means "new year gathering." This is a tradition of welcoming the arrival of the New Year. Typically, the Japanese are reserved in expressing their feelings, however, the shinnenkai has been a way of displaying gratitude. During this event, people can let their hair down, not worry about the boss/employee relationship and have a good time.

I've attended shinnenkai's hosted by the Fukuoka Kenjinkai, Hawaii Floricultural & Nursery Association, and the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii. Vice-President's Audrey Takamine and Steve Ueda represented us at the Hui Okinawan Shinnen Enkai. Last but not least, we had our own Shinnenkai, which was organized by Missy Miyashiro, chair of the Social & Cultural committee. Great game of "human bingo" was a cool way for everyone to interact. with each other. Another fun game was "pass the Fuji apple" in which this shiny apple was put under a contestant's chin and passed down the line. The problem we had with this was in counting up to two.  Dwayne Mukai asked us to count off by two's. One, two, one, two, etc. This took a little longer than expected. Hmmm, Mookie, you have to make it simplier next time, okay? The last game was a karaoke contest and Kyle (Usui) and the Kylettes won with their version of "Hotel California". Mahalo to Missy, Pearl, Debbie, Francis, Audrey, Mookie and the DJ, Tommy Hirai for putting in a lot of effort for everyone to have fun. Kampai!

March 1st is the Chambers 18th Annual Golf Classic at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course. It is filling up fast, so get your entries in asap. The chair for this year's event is Francis Rickard. Mahalo Francis for stepping up to the plate! I'm sure that you will hit a home run!

Golf is like marriage: If you take yourself too seriously it won't work, and it's expensive. Enjoy it. Please take care of yourselves and drive carefully.  Domo Arigato Gozaimasu.



Printing errors has been brought to our attention. Corrections as follows.


1.  Page 2 - Donn Mende, JCCIH 3rd Vice 

President, "Delete - Suisan Company Ltd."


2.  Page 56 - 

Member: Brandon Gonzales
County of Hawaii, Dept. of Public Works
Address: 101 Aupuni St., Ste. 325
Hilo, HI  96720

3.  Page 71 -

Member: Audrey Takamine
Takamine Construction, Inc.
Address: 1266 Kamehameha Ave., Suite C, Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Member: Craig S. Takamine
Takamine Construction, Inc.
Address: 1266 Kamehameha Ave., Suite C, Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Please contact the chamber office at 934-0177, or email at jccih@jccih.org, if finding inaccuracy so we can make appropriate correction.   Thank you to all members of JCCIH for their support to the Chamber!


Hawaiian Airlines Launches Flights to Haneda

JCCIH board members, Art Taniguchi, Honorary Consul General of Japan, far left, and Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, second left, participated in the Hawaiian Airlines Haneda to Kona Inaugural Flight.  They helped untie the maile lei at Haneda Airport and give 600 lei to passengers flying on Hawaiian from Tokyo.  

Serving Island-wide with 21st century facilities
By Rachel Solemsaas, Chancellor
Hawaii Community College


With input from the campus and the community, one the main goals Hawai'i Community College has developed in the past several months is to successfully serve island-wide with 21st century facilities.

Hawai'i CC was founded in Hilo in 1941 as the Hawaii Vocational School. In 1956 the college moved to a new campus at Manono Street and was re-named the Hawaii Technical School. This has been our main campus since, and has served us well over the past six decades.

However, the time has come to redevelop the campus, as there are numerous shortcomings, and temporary fixes no longer make sense.

We have classes and facilities at the Manono campus and UH Hilo, creating logistical problems for students who travel between the two. Science lab space is limited, hurting our ability to expand Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs. Many of our buildings are "portables" intended for temporary use.

These are just a few examples.

In this year's UH legislative budget request is a $2,000 placeholder as we explore two options: relocating above Komohana Street or redeveloping the Manono site. Both have strengths and weaknesses, and with direction from the Board of Regents, we will select the location.

Then it will be an all-hands-on-deck effort (with state, federal and local support for funding, plus creative financing models) to ensure we don't wait 20 years for much needed upgrades.

In West Hawai'i, we opened a brand-new, state-of-the-art campus in 2015 named Hawai'i Community College - Pālamanui. Enrollment there grew 10% from Fall 2015 to Fall 2016, and now we must continue developing programs that are valuable to the community. This will require additional space.

With strategic investments and partnerships, we should be able to offer classes in northern and southern parts of the island. In Honoka'a, for instance, we have the North Hawai'i Education and Research Center (NHERC), and the legislature has provided $9 million for remodeling there. Facility design is underway. The concept is to use distance learning for lectures so students can access courses at Manono and Pālamanui while lab classes are available on site. A similar model could work in Ka'u.

Hawai'i Community College's mission statement affirms that "we are committed to serving all segments of our Hawaiʻi Island community." I look forward to working with the campus and the community to ensure we are fulfilling our mission.
Hawaii Community College logo

Winter on Maunakea - Have Fun, and be Safe
By Stephanie Nagata, Director
Office of Mauna Kea Management

Stephanie Nagata Winter has arrived, blanketing Maunakea with fresh snow and transforming the mountain into a winter wonderland.  It 's beautiful and inviting, great for amateur winter enthusiasts, especially for us who live in Hawaii.  The Office of Maunakea welcomes all who would like to enjoy the snow.  Here are some safety tips and reminders when planning a trip to the summit snow areas.

Everyone traveling to Maunakea is encouraged to stop at the Visitor Information Station (VIS) at the 9,200-foot level to allow your body to acclimate to the change in elevation. The VIS opens at 9 am every day of the year. VIS staff members, volunteers and OMKM Rangers are on hand to answer questions and provide information on road and weather conditions.

Please note that individuals in the following categories are advised not to travel to the summit:
  • Children under the age of 16 are discouraged from traveling beyond the Visitor Information Station
  • Pregnant women
  • Persons with high blood pressure, heart or respiratory conditions
  • Scuba divers with less than 24 hours rest after their last dive
  • Anyone who has been drinking alcohol (consumption of alcohol is strongly discouraged on Maunakea)
Snow Recreation
The use of equipment not designed for use in the snow (such as boogie boards, inner tubes or other devices not equipped with brakes or directional control on snow or ice) is discouraged. Devices without a braking or directional system are prone to accidents. Sharp unseen rocks are sometimes hidden under thin layers of snow and hard to steer around.

Snow mobiles and all off road vehicles are prohibited.

Be aware of falling ice on the observatory buildings and other structures at the summit.

Be Prepared
Sunscreen, sunglasses and protective clothing recommended.

Hikers should register at the Visitor Information Station and never hike alone.

TMT International Observatory
By Sandra Dawson, Hawaii Community Affairs Manager, Thirty Meter Telescope 
Sandra Dawson
The start of 2017 has been a very busy time for the project. The Contested Case hearing continues at Grand Naniloa Hotel here in Hilo. Testimonies and cross examinations were provided on behalf of TMT International Observatory by:
  • Dr. Ed Stone, Executive Director of the TMT International Observatory;
  • Dr. Gary Sanders, Project Manager for the TMT Project;
  • Dr. Paul Coleman, Astronomer, Institute for Astronomy
  • Dr. Heather Kaluna, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology;
  • David Callies, Professor, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii at Manoa, specializing in land use and property law;
  • Robert Rechtman, Archaeologist and Principal of ASMAffiliates; and
  • Naea Stevens, a Native Hawaiian working on Maunakea, regarding his family's deep ties to Maunakea.
Our project rested its case with strong evidentiary testimony for the Hearings Officer to consider. For all of you who have attended, stopped by or tuned in via live stream on NaLeo TV, we appreciate the outpouring of support we have received from the community during these hearings.

The Contested Case hearing picked up again in February with dates set for 13-16, 21-23 and 27-28. We always appreciate supporters in the room. Please join us if schedules allow.

Once testimonies and cross examinations are completed, the public portion of the hearing will conclude. Witness testimony, evidence, Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law will be turned over to Hearings Officer Amano to take under advisement. She will then render her ruling on whether the Thirty Meter Telescope meets the eight criteria for a project proposed for a conservation District. From there, the State of Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources will act on the project's Conservation District Use Application.

Of course the Contested Case was not the only event in January. For the 8th year running, TMT was proud to participate in the 2017 Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day, an event that educates and inspires our children.

And, for the first time, Hawaii Island hosted the exciting Hawaii State VEX Robotics High School Championship! Keaau High School accommodated 36 high school teams from Oahu, Maui, Molokai and the Big Island for a chance to compete in the World VEX Championships later this spring. TMT was also very honored to be named "Sponsor of the Year" at the tournament.

And finally, TMT continues to be extremely thankful to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii and the community for long-standing support.

Government Affairs Update
By Audrey Takamine, Government Affairs Committee Chair and JCCIH 1st Vice President

Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) and Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce (HICC) leaders, pictured below, met with Hawaii Island members of the Hawaii State Legislature to discuss session priorities before the session began. In late January, the Chambers, KIAA and others met again to hear about bills impacting our island.

Now, the 2017 Legislative session is in full swing.  There are a handful of bills in front of the Legislature that will affect our island.  Please  stay on the lookout for requests to submit testimony in person and via the web.

Your voice is important! If you are interested in joining our committee, we meet the 1st Wednesday of every month at noon.  Please
contact Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers at the Chamber office 934-0177.

First row: Hawaii Island State Representatives, Richard Onishi,  Cindy Evans , Mark Nakashima, and Richard Creagan.  
S econd row: Lei Momi Pillers, Mike Miyahira, Joseph Skruch, David De Luz Jr., Janice Ikeda, JCCIH 1st VP Audrey Takamine, and HICC Immediate Past President, Ka'iu Kimura.  
Third row: Miles Yoshioka, Holly Ka'akimaka, Mary Begier, JCCIH 2nd VP Stephen Ueda, JCCIH President Russell Arikawa, Doug Simons, and HICC President Mike Kaleikini

Highlights From the JCCIH Education Committee
By Charlene Iboshi, Education Committee Co-Chair
Charlene Iboshi
Blue Zones Project staffers, Carol Ignacio and Lisa Cabalis joined the JCCIH. Ignacio, Blue Zoneʻs community engagement director, announced that West Hawaii was approved as a Blue Zones Project site, making Hawai'i Island an entirely BLZ Project Island. Blue Zones Project business and restaurant coordinator, Jana Ortiz-Misiaszek, works with JCCIH members, including KTA Super Stores and Suisan, to provide strategies for healthier employees and community initiatives. "Make the healthier choice, the easier choice." 

Blue Zones kicked off their "Walking Moais" for a ten-week challenge at Liliuokalani Park. Dr.  Craig Kadooka gave reasons why walking is a perfect form of exercise that provides many health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood pressure, stress reduction, and social interaction and support.

Audrey Wilson, a JCCIH member, created a non-profit which provides "Healthy Me" awareness and handbooks as part of island-wide health education for fourth graders. The program gives simple guidelines for healthy eating and exercise and limits "screen time" and encourages respectful behaviors. The Rotary Club of South Hilo supports this program, too.

JCCIH, HICC along DOE and the astronomy community are hosting the 13th annual "Journey Through the Universe," on Monday, March 13, 2017, 5-8 pm at the Grand Naniloa Hotel Sandalwood Room. Meet and greet national science team members, plus many of our astronomers and educators who deliver this educational program to our K-12 schools. Hilo-raised Devin Chu will be the guest speaker and share how the Journey Program helped to guide his dream of being an astronomer. Let's support astronomy for our island.

Many East Hawai'i community groups, including JCCIH, celebrate New Year Shinnenkai.  Traditions of some Asian countries are shared and more fully explained by the elders.  Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu and Kung Hei Fat Choi were greetings heard often and traditional displays seen

Our Education Committee's Hawaii Community College representatives made some life-changes. Debbie Shigehara retired from HCC at the end of year, but continues on the JCCIH Board. Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Jason Cifra took an appointment at UC Berkeley, helping students in California. Office of Continuing Education and Training's Director, Jessica Yamamoto , will be  working on the many projects Debbie and Jason started.

JCCIH Education Commiittee Co-Chair Charlene Iboshi and HCC, OCET Director Jessica Yamamoto

HCC's Culinary Program has its Bamboo Hale Lunch Program. We will work with the Marketing Committee to link the dates, times and menu.


Current Benefits for Members

Please check out the current benefits and discounts that you can take advantage of as a JCCIH member by presenting your membership card at any of these participating businesses.


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 tgina@allstate.com

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 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 Big Island location. With Fuel Up Do Good, when you buy Fuel at any of our Island wide 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.

Thank you for choosing Wilson's Trophies for your awards and signage needs!  Please call Sandy Wilson at 969-7077 to take advantage of their special Chamber offer.
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.


February 2017


In This Issue






What's Happening

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
18th Annual Golf Classic Tournament
Hilo Municipal Golf Course
10:30 am Registration
11:00 am Shotgun
2-team scramble
Monday, March 13, 2017
Journey Through the Universe
The Grand Naniloa Hotel, Sandalwood Room
5:00 pm

Officers & Directors  


Executive Officers

Russell Arikawa, President

Audrey Takamine, 1st Vice President

Stephen Ueda, 2nd Vice President

Donn Mende, 3rd Vice President

Naomi Menor, Japanese Secretary

Joseph Skruch, Treasurer
Ivan Nakano, Auditor

Darren Nishioka, Immediate-Past President


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


Directors - term expiring 6/30/19

Ross Birch

Laurie Correa

Charlene Iboshi

Michael Kaleikini

Ka'iu Kimura

Mitchell Dodo

Donald Straney

Craig Shiroma 


Oshirase Newsletter   

Barbara Hastings, Editor 
Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers, Executive Assistant  





Welcome New Members! 
Robert Shimabuku
State Farm Insurance
Insurance Agent
16-566 Keaau-Pahoa Rd., #2,  Keaau, HI  96749
Ph:  982-4530   Alt.: 756-2515   Fax:  982-4530
Email:  robert.shimabuku.r8a4 @statefarm.com

Heather Dansdill
Hilo Intermediate School
587 Waianuenue Ave., Hilo, HI  96720
Ph: 313-5300   Fax: 974-6184
Email: heather_dansdill@notes.142.hi.us


HFN Hawaii Petroleum

Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014

Kama'aina Motors







Direct Link 2013-2014


Kama'aina Nissan

Creative Arts 2013-2014







Suisan AD 2016-2017










HFN Hawaii Petroleum

Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014

Kama'aina Motors







Direct Link 2013-2014


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

714 Kanoelehua Avenue, Hilo, Hawai'i 96720-4565
Phone: 808-934-0177     Fax: 808-934-0178 
Email:  jccih@jccih.org     Website:www.jccih.org