President's Message
By Carol VanCamp, President


Happy New Year!  As we enter the "Year of the Horse", it's a great time to reflect on the past year and celebrate the opportunities ahead.  Our Chamber has enjoyed significant growth (35+ new members since July 1st) and we have had the opportunity to make a difference in our community through our many programs and activities - all of which would not be possible without our dedicated committees and membership.
In December, we enjoyed an exciting holiday party at the Hilo Hawaiian that featured great food, door prizes, and entertainment by Mark Yamanaka.  A highlight was the collection of food donations for the Hawaii Food Basket.  All of this was put together by our fabulous Social & Cultural Committee under the leadership of Gina Tanouye.

JCCIH Social & Cultural Committee

Our Chamber also partnered with the County of Hawaii, Japanese Community Association and the Kona Japanese Civic Association to establish a relief fund to help our Japanese Sister City Ohshima Island (located 75 miles south of Tokyo) that was devastated by Typhoon Wipha in October.  Hawaii County is this island's only sister city so it was even more important that our community respond with prayers and help.  The typhoon destroyed nearly 300 homes and 32 people died.

On a sad note, we also recently lost long-time Chamber member and Past President Donald Yamada (1983-84). I had the opportunity to join many of our members at a celebration of his life in late December.  He was not only a support of our Chamber, but of many other groups and organizations in our community.

Over the holidays, I again had the chance to enjoy making and pounding mochi and also making kodamatsu, both at the home of Harvey & Helene Tajiri.  This has become an annual tradition that all of us who participate look forward to both for the fellowship and also as a way to celebrate the significance of these traditions in the Japanese culture.

I recently had the opportunity to represent our Chamber at the annual Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (COCH) Legislative walk-around.  JCCIH is one of the Alliance member organizations that have joined together to provide a stronger voice for business at the Legislature.  This year, under the leadership of Hilo native Sherry Menor-McNamara, we had more than 100 business leaders participate.  Members of our own Big Island delegation were very welcoming and receptive to our issues and concerns.  For the first time, the COCH is proposing a legislative package focusing on strategic areas to support business in Hawaii.

I would also like to congratulate the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii (JCAH) for their very successful fundraiser held Jan. 18th.  Two Nikkei Kigyo companies  (enterprise of Japanese ancestry) - Suisan Co., Ltd & I. Kitagawa & Co., Ltd. - both in business more than 100 years and supportive members of our Chamber as well were honored.  Proceeds from the event will go toward the JCAH scholarship program.

I also had the opportunity to participate with other Chamber members and guests in the annual New Year Urasenke Hilo Association's tea ceremony at the Lili'uokalani Gardens tea house.  It was a wonderful event to enjoy delicious tea and a special Japanese lunch specially prepared for our group, along with an explanation of the cultural traditions associated with this ceremony.

Please mark your calendars for some other exciting events coming up early this year, including the 15th Annual Golf Classic Tournament on March 5th, and a DOE program presented by our Education Committee on Feb. 20th.  We will also be co-sponsoring a "Journey through the Universe" reception on March 10th, and our next General Membership featuring Mayor Billy Kenoi's annual economic outlook is set for March 27th.  More details will be forthcoming for all of these activities.

As a reminder, all of our committees are open for participation by any members interested.  Joining a Chamber committee provides a great opportunity to learn more about our organization, but more importantly, it's a great way to enjoy fellowship and have fun with your fellow Chamber members.

I hope that all of our members enjoy a healthy and prosperous new year and that we remain committed to our mission to promote the well-being of our community through business and personal relationships through the values of "Kahiau" and "Okage sama de". "Kahiau" is the Hawaiian word that means giving without expecting anything in return.  "Okage sama de" is the Japanese proverb that means "I am what I am because of you."

Domo Arigato Gozaimasu & Aloha,




Nikkei Kigyo Event


On Jan. 18th, the Japanese Community Association sponsored a fundraising event honoring the Nikkei Kigyo (enterprise of Japanese Ancestry) in East Hawaii.  Two of our JCCIH member companies that have been in business for many generations were honored - I. Kitagawa & Company, Ltd., established in 1905,  and Suisan Co., Ltd., established in 1907.  Please see the special thank-you letter from Roland Higashi, chair of the event committee for JCAH.  Our Chamber was proud to be a sponsor for this inaugural event, and we look forward to the opportunity to recognize other Nikkei Kigyo companies in the future.  


Carol VanCamp



Click here for Mahalo letter >   

L-R: Glenn Hashimoto, President, Suisan Co., Ltd.; Brian Kitagawa, President, I. Kitagawa & Co., Ltd.



Celebration of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan
By Jon J. Arizumi 
Jon Arizumi On December 10, 2013, I had the honor to represent the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii at a reception in celebration of the Birthday of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan and the 24th Anniversary of His Accession to the Throne which was held at the official residence of the Consulate - General of Japan in Honolulu.   

There were many dignitaries both civilian and military who attended this beautiful venue.  What an honor it was to have the Consul General of Japan Toyoei Shigeeda and his wife greeting their guests as we entered the residence. 

Representing the Big Island of Hawai'i:

Mr. and Mrs. Art Taniguchi - Honorary Consul General of Japan, Mr. and Mrs. Hiroshi Suga - President Japanese Community Association of Hawaii, Representative & Mrs. Richard Onishi, Rev. Jeffrey Soga and Mrs. Mary Matayoshi and daughter Kathryn and Mr. Jon J. Arizumi - Past President Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii.  










Mayor's Message

Mayor Billy KenoiWhen it comes to serving the people of Hawai'i Island, all levels of government must work together. The state legislature recently convened their 2014 session, and I took the opportunity to encourage the state to complete projects that will have great impacts on our residents.

The Kea'au-Pahoa Highway is the only major route serving Lower Puna, the fastest growing region in Hawai'i. We are encouraging the state to press ahead with plans to expand nine miles of the highway to four lanes for a safer, quicker commute for our working families.

We are also asking legislators to support the University of Hawai'i at Hilo by constructing a permanent home for the College of Pharmacy, which is already generating more than $50 million per year in economic activity statewide. The Hawai'i Island Family Medicine Residency Program is another crucial program, since 80 percent of doctors practice medicine where they trained. This program will ease the physician shortage in our county and rural areas across the state.

The legislature has appropriated over $100 million for an international arrivals building and major terminal expansion at the Kona International Airport. We strongly support these plans. Investment in the airport will allow our county and our state to continue to grow as a domestic and international visitor destination.

These projects are wise investments in our communities, creating jobs, relieving traffic congestion, growing our economy, and protecting public health and safety. We will assist the state in any way possible to expedite these initiatives.


Billy Kenoi
County of Hawaii


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Journey Through the Universe

Join the celebration!  It's Journey's 10th Anniversary!

Meet and greet the National Science Team Members plus the many astronomers and educators who are delivering this fantastic educational program to our K-12 schools



Monday, March 10, 5-8pm

Hilo Yacht Club

$30 per person

Delicious pupus, No-host cocktails 

 Sponsored by the Hawai'i Island Chamber of Commerce and the

 Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawai'i 


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UHH Interns Gain Hands-on Experience With OMKM
By Stephanie Nagata, Office Director of Mauna Kea Management


PIPES (Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science) is a UH Hilo program that seeks to improve the recruitment and retention of local students-especially those of Hawaiian ancestry-in fields related to the natural resources of Hawaii and the Pacific.

OMKM participates in PIPES for several reasons:
1) It extends our outreach in the community; 2) It supports an important component in UH Hilo's Strategic Plan by providing hands-on job experience for students, and; 3) We can certainly use the help.

Our first PIPES intern was Jessica Kirkpatrick, who came on board in 2012. Jessica was completing her degree in Environmental Studies at UHH and worked with Fritz Klasner, OMKM's natural resources program manager, and Dr. Jesse Eiben, who continues to conduct important arthropod studies on Mauna Kea funded by OMKM. By partnering with Jesse, the internship experience involved both scientific and management components, as desired by PIPES.
Jessica collected arthropod samples on Mauna Kea, providing data that helped Jesse figure out what plant species are the preferred home to different arthropod species. On the management side, Jessica's work helps OMKM develop an invasive species plan, a key element in its implementation of the CMP.

Jessica Kirkpatrick and Kerri Nakatsu during silversword planting volunteer day.

The partnership worked really well, so following the 10-week Internship we hired Jessica as a natural resource technician so she might continue her work.

In 2013, OMKM hired two interns, Amber Stillman and Kerri Nakatsu. Kerri, then a UHH junior in Biology, partnered with the Big Island Invasive Species Committee and OMKM. She worked with native Hawaiian vegetation and helped to write monitoring protocols.

Kerri, along with Jessica and Amber, also benefitted from their involvement with Pacific Consulting Services, Inc., OMKM's archeological consultant. Integrating archaeological monitoring with other resource management activities builds cultural awareness, heightens cultural sensitivity, and informs all other monitoring activities. The integration of natural and cultural resources protection efforts is one of the major goals of the CMP.

Amber Stillman and Kerry Nakatsu

Amber, a local Kamehameha Schools graduate, completed her studies at San Diego State University with a background in GIS before returning home to join the Spatial Data Analysis Lab in the UHH Geography Department via the PIPES program. She is focusing on developing three-dimensional maps of Mauna Kea and "fly through" movies. As with Jessica, we have kept Amber on as a GIS resource technician to finalize the 3-D map products and movie.

OMKM's involvement with PIPES helps expose students to new perspectives. The short-term employment opportunities provide graduates with on-the-job training specific to their field and cultural perspectives gained by participating in archeological monitoring-and it is especially important for anyone working in resource management in Hawaii to have knowledge and understanding of both native Hawaiian cultural resources and natural resources. The goal is to better prepare students as they seek permanent jobs. 










HawCC Update
By Chancellor Noreen Yamane





On Wednesday, February 26, for the first time ever, we will be hosting "Hawai'i Community College Day" in an effort to show prospective students from local high schools and middle schools our educational programs and services.

I invite all of you to attend HawCC Day and get a close-up view of our college. There will be campus tours and displays and demonstrations presented by our academic programs.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Manono Campus. For more information, call (808) 934-2800. I hope you can attend!


Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) continue to provide important pathways for students to enter careers with both job security and attractive annual salaries.

Hawai'i CC is offering a new program that gives students an affordable way to obtain a four-year degree in a STEM field. The new Associate in Science in Natural Science degree is designed specifically for students who intend to transfer to a four-year university and obtain a baccalaureate degree in a STEM subject.

After graduating from Hawai'i CC with a Natural Science degree, students are automatically accepted at UH Hilo as juniors with most of their core requirements fulfilled.

The Natural Science A.S. degree prepares students to enter a variety of programs at UH Hilo, including: Astronomy, Biology, Computer Science, Engineering, Pre-Pharmacy, Marine Science, Agriculture (Animal Science-Livestock Production Specialty), Animal Science (Pre-Veterinary Specialty), and Nursing, among others.

The degree also allows for a smooth transfer to other four-year universities in the UH System. With our affordable tuition, open enrollment policy and faculty and staff dedicated to student success, this is a great option for many students.


Hawai'i Community College's Auto Body Repair and Painting (ABRP) program has recently started using its new "virtual painter" equipment, which students will use to develop their auto body painting skills.

The new equipment is a good example of how Hawai'i CC is staying up-to-date with the latest technology as we prepare our students for the workforce.

To use the virtual painter, students wear a head display that shows a simulated painting booth and use a hand-held "spray gun" to paint a virtual vehicle, a process that can be viewed on a screen by instructors and other students.

Though it won't replace real, live auto painting entirely, the virtual painter is a great way to assess students' abilities by showing the thickness of the paint, if there's too much texture, if there are runs and if it's sprayed at the wrong angle.

The equipment features a plaque commemorating the late ABRP Professor Michael Saito, who passed away in 2012. Saito initiated the effort to procure the advanced technology.


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By Joji-san 
March 3rd - Girls Day

Did you know....

According to old superstition, families that are slow to put away their Girl's Day doll will have difficulty marrying off their daughters??

Imperial couple- Emperor at the left of the Empress

Just around the corner is Girl's Day " Hina-matsuri" on March 3rd which is a special day in Japan.  On this day families with young daughters celebrates their life to make a wish for good health.  Traditionally, parent's displays Girl's Day dolls during this time. 

These dolls are not the everyday dolls usually played with but are ceremonial dolls, a heritage of the household, handed down, many of them, from generation to generation. They are displayed for a few days in the best room of the house at this festival time, after which they are carefully boxed and put away until the next year. Dolls are usually displayed on a tier of steps, usually five, from 3 to 6 ft. long and covered with bright red cloth. This stand is specially set up in the home only on this day.

Also, Hina-matsuri used to beone of the very few occasions when little Japanese girls had their own parties. It was customary to have them invite their small friends to these parties at which they partook of the sweets and food offered to the dolls.




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Meet your Committee Chairs...

Strategic Planning Completed

The Chamber's Board of Directors recently completed their strategic planning.  Facilitated by
Mike Miyahira, the strategic planning process helped the board identify key issues and concerns that it will face over the next three to five years.  The board utilized an assessment process called a "SWOT" analysis which sought to identify the Chamber's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.  Then the various issues and concerns were prioritized.

This planning effort resulted in the recognition that membership is the top concern for our chamber.  Growth in membership will help to provide the Chamber with a deeper pool of future leaders and management strength to draw upon.  That will enable the Chamber to take on more events and projects.  That will also enable the Chamber to be stronger supporters and advocates for business.  Growth in membership will also help the Chamber financially as well. 

Specific strategies were discussed, not the least of which is to ensure that members receive value and benefits as members of our Chamber.  We hope that all members make the effort to engage themselves in committees and events that interest them.  Whether it's the Government Affairs Committee, the Economic Development Committee, Social & Cultural Committee, Golf, Taste of Hilo, Public Relations, Membership, Education Committee, or International Relations, there is something for everyone. 

And, one of the unique benefits that our Chamber has is our relationship with our sister Chamber in Higashi Hiroshima.  Our Chamber also helps the County of Hawaii with its sister city relationship with Yurihama. 

New members are encouraged to attend orientation sessions that are held periodically, as well as to sign up for a committee or event.

Miyahira is a past president of our Chamber as well as a past president of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, the Big Island Business Council, Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island, and the Hawaii Island United Way. 

Mike Miyahira provides consulting services to family owned and closely held businesses.  His client base is located on Oahu and the Big Island.  Miyahira is also Manager and Chief Financial Officer for the Hawaiian Rainbows Group.  He is also an adjunct professor with the College of Business and Economics at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Miyahira also serves as the chair of the board of trustees of the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, and as president of the National Client Protection Organization.

Prior to 2000, Miyahira spent more than 24 years with one of Hawaii's largest commercial banks on the islands of Oahu, Maui and Hawaii.  The bulk of his banking career was spent as a senior credit officer and manager of several of the bank's business banking units. 

The chamber is very fortunate and grateful to have Mike's leadership and guidance through not only this strategic planning process, but as a valued chamber member and past president.  For new and current members that are looking for opportunities to become involved in the chamber, consider leading a special initiative like Mike did.  We invite you to contact the chamber office or Mike if you have any question about the strategic planning initiative, or if you have questions on this type of leadership role.

Current Benefits for Members


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


Allstate Insurance - Speegle Insurance Agency  ~  Big Island Wisteria ~ Bob's Jewelers  ~  Eyewear Hilo ~ Hawaii Petroleum/HFN  ~  Wilson's Trophies 





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. Contact Gina Tanouye at [email protected] or 969-7767. For every referral the office receives, member will receive a $10 gift card for allowing them to provide an insurance quote. 



Kagari Fujita, Ph. D, Big Island Wisteria, LLC is offering members translation services of Japanese to English, or English to Japanese at a discounted price. Contact Kagari Fujita at [email protected]   



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. 


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, call Eyewear Hilo at 935-1119. Members will receive a 20% discount. 


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 way for businesses and consumers to fuel. As a member, when you sign up with HFN, you will receive a discount on your gas purchase.  Contact Joy Madriaga at 969-1405 for further questions.  Applications are available at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii.  

Sandy Wilson, Wilson's Trophies, provides awards for sports and academics; signs and banners; corporate awards, 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). Members will receive awards discounts. Contact Sandy Wilson at 969-7077.  




Words of WisdomTommy Goya

By Tommy Goya


"The planet Earth is our host. While we are here, we should all be good guests."








  February 2014
In This Issue
President's Message
Nikkei Kigyo
Celebration of His Majaesty the Emperor of Japan
Mayor's Message
Journey through the Universe
OMKM Update
HawCC Update
Meet your Committee Chairs
Current Benefits for Members
Words of Wisdom
2013-2014 JCCIH Leadership
Welcome New Members!











What's Happening


February 19, 2014

New Member Orientation

Palms by the Bay

5:00 pm  - 6:30 pm 

Click to Register 


February 20, 2014

Department of Education Presentation

Hilo Yacht Club

11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Click to Register 


February 20, 2014

Golf Committee Meeting

Chamber Conference Room

5:00 pm


March 5, 2014

JCCIH Golf Classic Tournament

Hilo Municipal Golf Course

Click to Register 


March 6, 2014

Education Committee Meeting

Palms by the Bay

5:00 pm 


March 10, 2014

Board of Directors Meeting

Hilo Yacht Club

11:30 am  


March 10, 2014

Journey through the Universe

10th Anniversary

Joint Chamber event - HICC & JCCIH

Hilo Yacht Club

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm  

Click to Register 


March 11, 2014

Social & Cultural Committee Meeting

Location to be announced

5:30 pm


March 27, 2014

General Membership Meeting


Mayor Billy Kenoi

Imiloa Astronomy Center, Moanahoku Room

11:30 am - 1:00 pm  


April 3, 2014

Education Committee Meeting

Palms by the Bay 



April 8, 2014

Social & Cultural Committee Meeting

Location to be announced

5:30 pm 


April 14, 2014

Board of Directors Meeting

Hilo Yacht Club

11:30 am  






Officers & Directors  


Executive Officers

Carol VanCamp, President

David Honma, 1st Vice President

Darren Nishioka, 2nd Vice President

Russell Arikawa, 3rd Vice President

Naomi Menor, Japanese Secretary

Donn Mende, Treasurer
Ivan Nakano, Auditor

Jon Arizumi, Immediate-Past President


Directors - term expiring 6/30/14
Tommy Goya

Phoebe Lambeth
Marvin Min

Dwayne Mukai
Russ Oda

Joseph Skruch

Arthur Taniguchi


Directors - term expiring 6/30/15

Janice Bueltmann

Barbara Hastings

Randy Kurohara

Amanda Lee

Tracey Miura

Michael Miyahira

Allan Onishi

Debbie Shigehara

Nina Tanabe

Toby Taniguchi


Directors - term expiring 6/30/16
Nobuo Arimoto

Ross Birch

Laurie Correa

Charlene Iboshi

Michael Kaleikini

Ka'iu Kimura

Kimo Lee
Barry Mizuno

Steve Ueda

Nico Verissimo

Oshirase Newsletter   

Amanda Lee, Editor 
Lei Momi Fujiyama Pillers, Executive Assistant  

Chantee Poepoe-Vigil, Intern 





Welcome New Members!


George Applegate  

George Applegate Consulting, LLC 



[email protected] 


Miyuki Lee

St. Joseph High School 

Distance Admissions Director

935-4936, 345-3680, 969-9019 

[email protected]


Joseph Marsh   

Business Insurance Services, Inc.  

[email protected]


Debra Teichman 

Clark Realty 


969-7863, 315-0426, 935-7405 

[email protected] 





Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014




Kama'aina Motors




CPB 2013-2014




Big Island Toyota 2013-2014
Click here to go to website




Direct Link 2013-2014




Kama'aina Nissan



Click here to go to website



Creative Arts 2013-2014



KTA Super Stores 2013-2014


HIAC 2013-2014
Click here to go to website

HFS FCU 2013-2014



DeLuz Chevy 2013-2014





CU Hawaii
click here to go to website


HPM Better Builder 2012-2013
Click here to go to website





Bank of Hawaii
click here to go to website






HELCO 2013-2014
Click here to go to website




Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014




Kama'aina Motors




CPB 2013-2014




Big Island Toyota 2013-2014
Click here to go to website




Direct Link 2013-2014





Seniors Helping Seniors 2013-2014




Kama'aina Motors


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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