President's Message

By Jon Arizumi, President


Jon Arizumi

Happy Holidays!  Ho, Ho, Ho!

It is with great pleasure that I wish all of you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season.
As 2012 ends, we can reflect on all the cherished moments we shared with one another.

This year, our Chamber has been extremely busy with many events and activities.  I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone in the various committees for their assiduous efforts and dedication for making each event successful.  To recap, here are some of the events and activities that were facilitated by our committees:

  • Mayoral Debate    Ireito Memorial Service
  • 14th Annual Taste of Hilo   
  • Economic Development Mtg.  - Dr. Straney
  • Consul General Farewell Luncheon  
  • General Membership Mtg. - Lt. Governor
  • Goji-Kara - HELCO    
  • Political Endorsements
  • Social Event - Hawaii Baseball - Outing 
  • Goji-Kara - Hawaii Fuel Network
  • General Membership Mtg. - X Mas Gathering
  • Special Presentation: Ms. Kathryn Matayoshi - DOE Superintendent.  A joint event sponsored by JCCIH & HICC.

Since 1999, our chamber has shared a sister city relationship with Higashi Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  On October 6th and 7th, I had the honor and privilege to participate at our sister chamber's annual "Sake Festival".   My wife Sharyl, along with my mother-in-law, Amy Tanaka, and I enjoyed our stay in Higashi-Hiroshima and were pleasantly surprise by the kindness of all the people there.  At this year's festival, there were over 150,000 participants during the two-day celebration.   The executive meeting with the Mayor, the tour to Miyajima Island, exquisite food and generous hospitality, was beyond one's comprehension.  We look forward to continuing the strong exchange of business, culture and history of our sister chamber relationship.             


2012 Visit to Japan, HHCC  


2012 President Message in HHCC visit 


2012 HHCC 


The 14th Annual Taste of Hilo was held on October 21st at the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Sangha Hall.  As anticipated, the event was a "sold out", smashing success!  This year's theme was "Big Island Grown".  We had the honor and privilege of featuring the Big Island's own celebrity Chef Philip "Ippy" Aiona.  Chef "Ippy" featured delicious dishes utilizing local products.  This would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of our committee, chaired by Mr. Chad Ogata.  The committee consisted of over 20 members from our Chamber, some of whom have volunteered for many years.   Mahalo to the volunteers from the Taste of Hilo Committee and Hawai'i Community College.  Next year, we have the honor of having Mr. Russell Arikawa and Mr. Craig Shiroma chairing the 15th Annual Taste of Hilo event.

To all our members, I am excited to work with everyone in making 2013 a better year.   "Kaizen" - means continuous improvement in one's daily life.  Let's all enjoy this special time with our family, friends, colleagues, and all who have made our life a true blessing.

Thank you for the continued support of your Chamber.  
As we say, "Okage Sama De"...We are what we are because of you!

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu!    



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Special Mahalo!!!
By Jon Arizumi, President


I would like to take this opportunity to thank  Ms. Nico Verissimo for her dedication and hard work with marketing, branding, and communications efforts, including such things as development of the chamber's website; the e-newsletter "Oshirase"; redesigning the chambers branding; developing an online membership survey; the re-structuring of the chamber advertising package; editor for the "Oshirase"; and much more.    

Nico VerissimoMs. Verissimo has also been very instrumental with all facets with the chamber's communication process. 

Recently Ms. Verissimo was promoted to Director of Alumni Engagement - Hawai'i Island for the University of Hawaii Foundation.  Please join me in congratulating her on this exciting promotion.  The Communication Committee as well as the Chamber will definitely miss her as Chairperson, but are grateful for her contribution to these efforts.

Once again, on behalf of the Chamber, thank you very much for all you have done and continue to do for the Chamber, and we wish you much success on your new venture.







General Membership Meeting & Holiday Party
By Gina Tanouye

Gina TanouyeThree words that come to mind when I think of this year's JCCIH Holiday Party and its members are warm, jolly, and bright. From the first day I joined the Chamber I was warmly welcomed by "warm, jolly and incredibly bright" members, and it is no surprise that my first JCCIH Holiday party has given me great memories!

The Hilo Yacht Club was transformed into the Chamber's playground the evening of December 3, 2012. The tables beautifully adorned with wreaths made from local foliage picked and arranged by Social and Cultural committee members Janice Bueltmann, Nico Verissimo and Audrey Takamine. Members were also treated to a bag of goodies generously donated by Big Island Delights, Hawaii Island Gourmet Products and Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company.

Chad Ogata, who played a medley of Hawaiian music accompanied by his friend Lee Sugihara, provided entertained during the cocktail hour. This performance was made extra special, as Shelly Ogata danced hula to I Kona. Guests cheered "Hana Hou", and Shelly Ogata graciously obliged and danced a Hilo favorite, Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai. Entertainment continued as Janice Bueltmann floated around the room dancing to Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, and we were "WHAMMED" by new member Adams Agtarap singing George Michael's Last Christmas. (Editor's Note: Gina Tanouye performed "Merry Christmas Darling", and all the guests were completely in awe of her beautiful rendition!) I had the honor of co-emceeing with U'i Canda, and together we lead the guests in a "Merry Christmas" cheer competition and the JCCIH tradition of "12 Days of Christmas", Japanese style.

The grab bag exchange was lead by the lyrical styling of Josie Kiyan, who wrote an amazing poem that featured JCCIH President, Jon Arizumi, his lovely wife Sharyl Arizumi, and their holiday escapades. Everyone was laughing and enjoyed the gift exchange.

Thank you to our generous members who brought items to support both Toys for Tots and Hawaii Island Food Basket (74lbs of can goods). Every member who made a donation received a raffle ticket. Congratulations to Joy Madriaga who won a $100 gift certificate donated by Mike Kaleikini of Puna Geothermal Venture. Congratulations also to Janice Bueltmann and Ron DeLay won pork crown roasts, and Ray Ibarra who took home a prime rib, all donated by Allan Onishi of LH Gamble.

For the grand finale of our program...Adams and I danced elfishly to the Korean hit "Gangnam Style". Thank you to Dwayne Mukai for providing the sound system and dance music.

My first JCCIH Holiday party was a blast! I was thrilled to see how everyone came together to create a beautiful and memorable evening that I won't soon forget.

Photos from the Holiday Party, provided by my husband Gavin Tanouye, are hosted here. 


Photo Gallery 



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Goji Kara at Hawaii Fueling Network, Hawaii Petroleum Inc.
By Janice Bueltmann,
Social & Cultural Chairperson

Janice BueltmannOn Wednesday, November 29th, JCCIH member Joy Madriaga hosted a Goji Kara at Hawaii Fueling Network (HFN). About 25 JCCIH members and their guests were in attendance at the HFN location in the Shipman Industrial Park in Keaau.

HFN Vice President, Mark Leong, shared about the benefits of being a member of HFN. Rather than paying at the pump, members are invoiced each month. JCCIH members qualify for a $0.15 discount per gallon! HFN locations are very clean and because it is exclusive to members only, video cameras are set up to monitor the sites 24/7 to ensure safety and quality service. HFN offers diesel, biodiesel, and several grades of gasoline. 



HFN Hawaii Petroleum Keaau 


HFN program on Big Island 


On Maui and the Big Island, commercial users and members of small businesses can apply for membership to receive significant gas discounts.

*  HFN is one of a only a few Hawaii petroleum wholesalers to offer discounted gas at multiple locations, with no minimum usage requirements.

*  Though the network is a members-only organization, there is no annual fee. The HFN card can be used at nine locations on Maui and seven on the Big Island with more locations coming soon. Charges are reflected on a monthly statement billed directly to the customer.

*  On the Big Island the network has five sites in the Hilo (East) area and two on the Kona (West) side with more on the way. In 2011, Minit Stop Ginger Patch in Hilo, Minit Stop Waimea and the Fuel Dock at Honokohau Harbor will be added to the network.

Signing up is quick and easy, and applications are available at

Mahalo nui to Joy Madriaga and the staff of Hawaii Fueling Network for hosting a wonderful and informative Goji Kara, and for offering JCCIH members a very generous discount on fuel!



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Ice of Mauna Kea Management
By Stephanie Nagata, Director 


The future of Mauna Kea hinged on one thing: credibility. The people chosen to fill the roles of the MKMB, OMKM and Kahu Ku Mauna had to make good on the promise that community voices would be heard and a balanced management approach would finally be forged that was respectful of all points of view.

Barry Taniguchi was among the first individuals named to the MKMB in 2000. This month, he is the last of the original board members to step down after having served three very eventful terms. From its uncertain beginnings and as chair of MKMB for the past five years, Barry provided much needed leadership and vision in the development of and subsequent approval by the Board of Land and Natural Resources of the Comprehensive Management Plan, Cultural Resources Management Plan, Natural Resources Management Plan, Decommissioning Plan and Public Access Plan. These documents will continue to serve a key role in the management process for many years to come.
Also stepping down from MKMB this month is Ron Terry, a widely respected environmental consultant who dedicated eight years to the board. As the community's expert representative on the environment and 2nd Vice Chair of the Board, Ron brought a depth of knowledge and expertise in protecting Mauna Kea's natural resources.

Mainly, Barry Taniguchi and Ron Terry both provided that key element, credibility, to the MKMB and the Master Plan process. They never deviated in their commitment, even in the face of opposition, whether it came from individuals or the bureaucracy. We owe them both a great deal of gratitude for their personal sacrifices and contributions to the future of Mauna Kea, the University, and our community at large.






Thirty Meter Telescope Update 
By Sandra Dawson, Hawaii Community Affairs Manager, TMT
Sandra Dawson

We are excited to report that Hearings Officer Paul Aoki recently issued a one-hundred and twenty-four page ruling concluding that TMT is consistent with the purpose of the Conservation District and should be granted its Conservation District Use Permit.

His decision notes:

TMT will be much better and more thoroughly managed than any observatory in Mauna Kea's history.
TMT will not consume significant natural resources; will not pollute; will not harm species of concern, or the environment; will not interfere with customary and traditional cultural practices; will not impede recreational users; and will not threaten the public health, safety or welfare.  

TMT will make optimum and sustainable use of the natural resources that make Mauna Kea an ideal location for astronomy; will facilitate the management of Mauna Kea; will be a benefit to the public welfare by contributing significant funds to Hawaii Island and providing jobs, injecting large amounts of money into the local economy, contributing new programs and funds to Hawaii Island schools, enabling UH Hilo to remain at the forefront of astronomy in research and education and contributing to the overall knowledge base of mankind.

With regard to other cultural issues brought up by the opponents during the Contested Case hearing, Hearings Officer Aoki further ruled that the reliable, substantial and credible evidence demonstrates that the TMT Project will not result in any substantial adverse impact on the cultural practices of the community or State or native Hawaiian traditional and customary practices on Mauna Kea.
TMT stated when they first came to Hawaii Island nearly six years ago, that they wanted to do things differently and they wanted to create a new paradigm.
We believe this decision and order for consideration by the Board of Land and Natural Resources agrees with that goal and that we have achieved it. 
Everyone affiliated with the Thirty Meter Telescope is thankful for the support the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry has given in this long and arduous process to build an observatory.
With everyone's continued support, our keiki will soon have the opportunity to "Reach for the Stars".

Happy Holidays to each of you and your families.





Holidays for Family and Friends
By Ramsey Lundock, Subaru Telescope


Ramsey Lundock 

In the United States, we spend Christmas with our families and New Year's Eve with our friends.  But in Japan, Christmas is the time for friends, especially young couples, and New Year's is the time for family.

Japanese Christmas Cake


The hallmark of the Japanese Christmas is the Christmas Cake; a small cake to be shared with friends.  Bakeries are so busy around Christmas that you have to order your cake well in advance. 


The New Year's is celebrated with a visit to the local temple or shrine for the first prayers of the year and to buy new lucky charms.  Lines form in the evening, and people wait through the cold night.  Temples ring their bells 108 times, with the final time marking midnight, and the start of the new year.

Subaru Telescope Japan is a Buddhist country, so Christmas is not officially recognized as a holiday.  Everyone goes to work as normal and businesses are open.  In contrast, New Year's is officially recognized.  Everything closes, including convenience stores and ATMs.  Depending on the location, the New Years holiday can last several days.

Christmas pic from Ramsey 

Merry Christmas!

Yoi otoshi wo omukae kudasai! (Japanese salutation for the end of the year.)

Happy Year of the Snake!



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HawCC Update
By Chancellor Noreen Yamane


Happy holidays from Hawaii Community College!

Many great things have been happening within our college community recently, from the launch of a UH Systemwide Sustainability Committee, to the growth of our facilities around the island.

One development we celebrated recently was the opening of the Nursing and Allied Health program's new Nursing Learning and Resource Center next to the Kona Community Hospital. A group of students, faculty and staff participated in a traditional Hawaiian ceremony on November 15th to mark the occasion. The new center is a huge improvement over the previous facilities and will allow our students to use top-notch technology as they pursue their degrees in the medical program.

In addition, PBR Hawai'i & Associates, Inc., a firm specializing in land planning, landscape architecture and environmental studies, was hired to develop the Long-Range Development Plan for Hawaii CC's new campus on Komohana Street. In October, Governor Neil Abercrombie released $92 million in funding for Capital Improvement Projects across the state, and $500,000 of that money was for moving ahead with the Long-Range Development Plan.

Hawaii CC currently shares portions of its campus with UH Hilo and has buildings situated at the Manono campus and UH Hilo's main upper campus. The new campus is slated for the corner of Komohana and Mohouli Street, mauka of Komohana and extending up to Kukuau. Though it's likely a ways off, new facilities in Hilo would allow us to offer more opportunities and do an even better job serving the community.

Last but certainly not least, a building project in West Hawaii that has been years in the making took a concrete step forward in November. The state opened the bidding process for the first phase of construction for the Hawaii Community College - Palamanui Campus, which will be located north of Kona International Airport. 


HawCC 12-12
Rendering of Phase I of the yet-to be built Hawaii Community College - Palamanui Campus


HawCC Dec2012
Rendering of Phase I of the yet-to be built Hawaii Community College - Palamanui Campus



Contractors were invited to submit bids to build an approximately 24,000 square-foot campus that will house the Culinary Arts Program, Nursing and Allied Health Program, and Student Services Administration. The buildings will include new classrooms, learning kitchens, science laboratories and related support spaces. Bids are due December 12th, they are scheduled to be opened December 14th, and construction is expected to begin in spring of 2013.

We would also like to give a big mahalo to JCCIH for sponsoring the 14th annual "A Taste of Hilo" in October. Mahalo, JCCIH!





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General Membership Meeting, presenting Lt. Governor Brian Schatz
By Carol VanCamp


CarolvancampHawaii Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz outlined his economic development initiatives for Hawaii when he appeared as the keynote speaker at JCCIH's first Quarterly General Membership meeting held Oct. 30th at Hilo Yacht Club.

His top initiative is energy efficiency and conservation, with both aimed at reducing energy costs for Hawaii businesses and residents.  Big Island electric customers pay more than 4 times what their counterparts on the Mainland pay, and also much more than those on Oahu pay.  Efforts include adding cheaper alternative energy sources without "avoided cost" contracts that tie the rates to the cost of oil.


LG Schatz, Mike K, Jon, Randy & Barry T
Lt. Governor Brian Schatz, Mike Kaleikini, Barry Taniguchi, Jon Arizumi and Randy Kurohara

Another major initiative he noted is to support the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH), which he calls our "crown jewel".  He is encouraging efforts to increase the number of international students at UHH, which have dropped from about 11% of the student body in 2006 to only 6% in 2012.  This can be accomplished by pursuing students from multiple countries instead of focusing on only a few.  He also wants to support the continued growth and success of the College of Pharmacy.

Finally, he is encouraging efforts to strengthening Hawaii's tourism industry by spreading tourists throughout the state for varied visitor experiences, and throughout the year, rather than during traditional busy travel months.

In his first year in office, Lt. Gov. Schatz had a leading role in preparing for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, in which 21 delegations met to discuss the future of Asia-Pacific economies. 

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Japanese Community Association of Hawaii
Annual Shinnen Enkai, New Year's Party & Installation


You're invited to

Japanese Community Association of Hawaii

Annual Shinnen Enkai





Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin - Sangha Hall


4:30-5:30pm - Silent Auction & Cocktails

5:30 - 8:00 pm - Program & Dinner


$20 per person*


Menu:  Prime Rib and Breaded Fish Fillet Dinner



A Collection of items from the late Mayor Stephen Yamashiro donated by Mrs. Della Allison Yamashiro






*Tickets available KTA Puainako & Downtown Hilo or complete request form Register below.


For more information call 969-6437 or [email protected] 


 Click here to Register 


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Words of Wisdom

By Tommy Goya

 Tommy Goya


"It is not only important to feed your mind and body.  It is also important to feed your soul." 





December 2012
December Kanji   
In This Issue
President's Message
Special Mahalo!!!
General Membership Meeting & Holiday Party
Goji Kara at HFN, Hawaii Petroleum Inc.
OMKM Update
TMT Update
Subaru Telescope
HawCC Update
2012-2013 JCCIH Leadership














What's Happening




14th Annual Golf Classic Tournament

Hilo Municipal Golf Course

March 6, 2013



Officers & Directors  


Executive Officers

Jon Arizumi, President

Carol VanCamp, 1st Vice President

David Honma, 2nd Vice President

Darren Nishioka, 3rd Vice President

Naomi Menor, Japanese Secretary

Donn Mende, Treasurer
Ivan Nakano, Auditor

Michael Kaleikini, Immediate-Past President



Directors - term expiring 6/30/13
Howard Ainsley
Ka'iu Kimura

Kimo Lee
Barry Mizuno

Dwayne Mukai

Seth Murashige
Eugene Nishimura

Chad Ogata

Directors - term expiring 6/30/14
Tommy Goya

Phoebe Lambeth
Marvin Min
Russ Oda

Joseph Skruch

Arthur Taniguchi


Directors - term expiring 6/30/15

Janice Bueltmann

Barbara Hastings

Randy Kurohara

Tracey Miura

Michael Miyahira

Allan Onishi

Toby Taniguchi

Oshirase Newsletter  

Amanda Lee, Editor 
Lei Momi Fujiyama, Executive Assistant 





Imiloa Astronomy Center
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Big Island Toyota
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Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home




KTA Super Stores





Hawaii Island Adult Care 2012-2013







HELCO - New Logo 


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DeLuz Chevrolet 

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creative arts




CU Hawaii
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Hospice of Hilo
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Bank of Hawaii
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Hawaii National Bank








Hawaii Community Feder Credit Union

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 
[email protected] 


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