President's Message
By Darren H. Nishioka, President
Darren Nishioka Aloha!

The holiday season is upon us once again.  We all have a lot going on this month, whether it's last minute Christmas shopping, family gatherings, or wrapping up loose ends before the end of the year.  With all the hustle and bustle, it's easy to get caught up in the things you think you need to do.  However, you only really need to do one thing, embrace the spirit of Christmas.  I think the following quote best expresses this thought.

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family wrapped up in each other."
 Burton Hillis

I would like to take the time to wish all of you and your families a very safe and joyful holiday season!

October has historically been an eventful month for the chamber.  This year was no different.  In fact, it was even busier than usual as the Hawaii Island was fortunate to be visited by the Japan Training Squadron.  Naval ships made a stop at Hilo Harbor for the first time in over 47 years.  In addition, the chamber was active with other events including our Goji-Kara events, actively addressing major community issues such as the NextEra merger and Thirty Meter Telescope construction, exploring the possibility of restarting the Big Island Business Council to promote the general well-being of our Community and Businesses and of course, our annual event, Taste of Hilo XVII.

On October 7, 2015, my wife Nira and I, had the privilege to travel to Japan and visit our sister chamber, the Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HHCCI).  It was an honor to represent the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH).  The hospitality provided to us was extraordinary.  We truly had a wonderful experience as we had the pleasure of experiencing the annual sake festival, feast upon the fine cuisine, partake in the culture of Japan and view the beautiful Miyajima Island and the historic Peace Memorial.  1st VP Russell Arikawa and his wife Carol accompanied us on this trip.  We were honored to meet with Yoshio Kurata, Mayor of Higashi-Hiroshima and his cabinet.  We shared greetings, exchanged omiyage and had a discussion on fostering personal, business and cultural relationships.  The next day we were fortunate to experience the infamous Saijo Sake Matsuri, what is considered to be the largest sake festival held in Japan.  This year over 250,000 people attended this event and over 1100 different sake was available for tasting.  It was an exciting and fun experience.

On October 10, 2015, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force Training Squadron made a visit to the Hawaii Island.  This was the first visit by the squadron in forty-seven years.  The squadron consisted of three ships; the JS Kashima, the JS Shimayuki and the JS Yamagiri.  The training squadron is commanded by Rear Admiral Yasuki Nakahata.  The purpose of the overseas training cruise is to develop seamanship of the newly commissioned officers.  However, the entire crew, approximately 710 in total, also hope to strengthen relationships with countries who have ties back to immigrants from Japan as well as promote goodwill with the countries they visited.  The town of Hilo was provided a real treat as the training squadron's own Taiko Group and Military Band gave free performances for the public at the Civic Auditorium on October 11, 2015.  Honorary Consul General of Japan, Art Taniguchi, played a vital role in taking the lead on this event through his involvement with early site visits, preliminary planning and overall coordination of the squadron's visit with local organizations and the government.  2nd VP Audrey Takamine represented the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii during the squadrons visit.  Audrey and many of our fellow JCCIH members did a terrific job to help make this historic visit a success.  Domo Arigato Gozaimasu! 

Our annual event, Taste of Hilo XVII took place on October 18, 2015.  What can you say, except great food, great drink and great fellowship!  Chairpersons Russell Arikawa, Ryan Kajikawa, Craig Shiroma and the entire Taste of Hilo Committee worked really hard and did an awesome job in putting on yet another sold out event.  This year's featured dish was abalone prepared by Sushi Chef Donald Nakamura and Executive Chef Scott Lutey from Sansei Seafood Steak & Sushi Bar.  The abalone was provided by CEO Hiroshi Arai and his team, Kayo Arai, Mike Foley and Chiha Sakamoto, from Big Island Abalone.  It was ono-licious!  A sincere Thank You to all of the vendors, sponsors, volunteers and participants for their hard work and continued support.  I can hardly wait for next year's event and hope to see all of you there!

On November 5, 2015, your chamber hosted a "talk Story" session with Chair Suzanne Case of the State of Hawaii Department of Land Natural Resources (DLNR).  Ms. Case provided an update on the Community Engagement Process for the Kanoelehua Industrial Area, future plans for Banyan Drive and various land issues ranging from lease renewals to hunting and game management.  Overall, it was a good educational session regarding local affairs overseen by the DLNR.  Thank you goes out to our Economic Development Chair Carol Van Camp and Education Chairs Charlene Iboshi and Yu Yok Pearing as well as their committees for their continuing efforts to provide our chamber with informative events such as this one. 

Your chamber continues to work hard and put together worthwhile events for your benefit and enjoyment.  I thank all of you for your dedication to each other and the chamber.  Once again, have a safe and happy holiday season!

17th Annual Golf Classic Tournament
Presented by the Golf Committee 
 Wednesday, January 27, 2015
Hilo Municipal Golf Course
10:00 am  Registration
11:00 am  Shotgun Start
  • 2-Person Scramble;
  • 50% of total team handicap.  mimimum of six (6) tee shots per player is required.  2 putt maximum

Entry Fees

  • $300.00 per team ($150 individuals);
  • Includes Green fees, golf fees, lunch and entry into par three contests


  • Airline Trips, Merchandise, Golf Packages, hotel Packages, and more!
 Mahalo to our
"2016 Title Sponsor "
Big Island Candies
Big Island Candies logo
  • Entry for 3 teams (6 ppl) of 2-persons teams;
  • Individual name or Company name, and Company logo will be advertised on tournament collaterals and banner.
  • Each player will receive a golf polo shirt
  •  Entry for 2 teams (4 ppl) of 2-persons teams;
  • Individual name or Company name will be advertised on a placard  
  • Entry for 1 person
  • Individual name or Company name will be advertised on a placard 
  • Individual name or Company name will be advertised on a placard
  • Donation of goods and services that can be awarded as prizes.
  • We welcome you to promote products and wares as giveaways or for the goodie bags

Mahalo to our Sponsors 
"Ozeki Corporate Sponsor"
Big Island Toyota
CU Hawaii Federal Credit Union
Hawaii Radiologic Associates, Ltd.
Hawaii Petroleum Inc. - Hawaii Fueling Network
Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
HPM Building Supply
Island Insurance
Kama'aina Motors/Kama'aina Nissan
KTA Super Stores
Kuhio Grille
Puna Geothermal Venture
Suisan Fish Company, Ltd.
Takamine Construction, Inc.
Hawaii Sheetmetal & Mechanical Inc.

"Special Corporate Sponsor"
Bank of Hawaii
Creative Arts Hawaii/Aloha Grown
First Hawaiian Bank
Hawaii Electric Light Company
Kadota Liquors
Oahu Productions (Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii)
W. H. Shipman, Ltd.
"Sekiwake Hole Sponsors"
Aiona Car Sales
Atlas Insurance
Direct Link
Isemoto Contracting Company, Ltd.
"Komusubi Hole Sponsor"
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Al Konishi Attorney at Law
L. H. Gamble Company
Royal Hawaiian Orchards, L. P.

JCCIH Golf logo in color




Economic Development Committee Update
By Carol VanCamp, Economic Development Committee Chairperson
Hilo native Suzanne Case, Chair of the State of Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources under Governor Ige's administration, was the featured speaker at an Economic Development Committee program on Nov. 5th at Imiloa.
Using a talk-story format, Chair Case outlined their department's new Kanoelehua Industrial Area's Project initiative, which is aimed at determining market demand for industrial-commercial uses in this area for the near and long-term. Other aspects of the study will include a master lease feasibility analysis, and a lot consolidation analysis, all aimed at matching tenant needs with existing supply.
Director Case also noted that the DLNR is supporting the work of the Banyan Drive Working Group to better understand current conditions, limitations and opportunities for the formulation of revitalization strategies. This process will include a tourism market study, sea level/rise assessment, remaining useful life analysis for existing facilities, and a master lease feasibility analysis.
In addition to these topics, Chair Case also answered questions about the status of the TMT project on Mauna Kea (security for workers, etc.), hunting and game management activities, and several other topics of interest to attendees.
Other programs planned for the rest of the Chamber year (some jointly with the Education Committee) will include a January presentation by the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Community College regarding their respective visions, updates and priorities, and the challenges they are facing in addressing them.
On Feb. 5th, from 11:30 to 1pm, Professor Tom DeWitt from UHH will provide a presentation on leadership, and in mid-February, an update on the Blue Zones project on the Big Island will be presented.
In March, Mayor Billy Kenoi will present his annual county update, and in late March, George Sziget, President & CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) will make a presentation to our Chamber.
Specific details and notices for all programs will be sent to members as soon as they are finalized.

Goji Kara at One Gallery
By Gina Tanouye, Social & Cultural Committee Chairperson

Member - Gina Tanouye  

One Gallery is a vibrant gallery located in Downtown Hilo featuring local Big Island artists including new JCCIH member and One Gallery owner, Deborah Beaver.  Deborah opened her gallery to our JCCIH members for an intimate Goji Kara on November 12.  As soon as you walk into the gallery, your uplifted by the colorful art pieces that fill the room.  Deborah had invited many of the local artists whose works are showcased to be in attendance to discuss their pieces.  Members were delighted to watch a live art demonstration

Garry Palm

November featured artist

by Garry Palm, One Gallery's monthly featured artist, as he made koi come to life on canvas.  Paintings, stone and wood sculptures, Ni'ihau dyed gourds, CD's from local musicians, prints and many unique omiyage for friends, family or yourself can all be found at One Gallery.  One of my favorite paintings that evening was a beautiful ocean horizon with a whale tail and when I walked to the wall to find out who the artist was, I was in awe to learn it was the chambers very own Deborah Beaver.  If you thought she was just the gallery owner, think again...Deborah is an amazing artist with beautiful paintings on display at her gallery that you can visit 7 days a week.




Hawaii Community College Updates
By Noreen Yamane, Chancellor

Aloha, and happy holidays!
I am pleased to announce that the University of Hawai'i Board of Regents has appointed Joni Onishi as Interim Chancellor of Hawai'i Community College effective January 1, 2016.
Joni Onishi is currently the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Hawai'i CC. She has been employed at Hawaiʻi CC since 1988 and is a tenured faculty member in business education. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration from UH Hilo and master's degree in education from UH Mānoa.

Before becoming Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Ms. Onishi was Interim Dean for Career and Technical Education from 2007 to 2010.

Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton said, "I am grateful to Joni for assuming this additional responsibility and look forward to working with her as we continue working to move Hawai'i CC forward. Our goal is to have a new chancellor by July 1, 2016."

During Ms. Onishi's interim appointment, Joyce Hamasaki, the Dean of Career and Technical Education, will serve as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Hawai'i CC has already begun searching for a permanent chancellor. A 19-member screening and interview committee has been appointed that includes faculty, staff and administrators, as well as community members. The chancellor position will be prominently advertised nationwide.

The committee will conduct the screening and interview process and submit a list of finalists to Mr. Morton.

After a series of campus interviews and public forums with the finalists, the vice president will conduct his own review of candidates and present his recommendation to the Board of Regents.

I am retiring at the end of this year, and it has been a pleasure working with the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii during my time at Hawai'i CC. JCCIH's efforts make Hawai'i Island a stronger community and a better place to live.

TMT Observatory 
By Sandra Dawson, Hawaii Community Affairs Manager
Sandra Dawson

While everyone at TMT is obviously disappointed with the recent Hawaii Supreme Court decision I would like to take this opportunity while we ponder our next steps to say thank you.

Mahalo to Hilo and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Hawaii for your loyal and ongoing support of astronomy and the Thirty Meter Telescope.  Best wishes for a happy holiday season!

Domo arigato gozaimasu


"The Opportunity of Aerospace"
By Charlene Iboshi, Education Committee Co-Chairperson                           
Charlene Iboshi

The JCCIH's Education Committee and the HICC co-sponsored a "call to action" presentation by Rob Kelso, Executive Director of Pacific International Space Center For Exploration Systems (PISCES.)  Why?  We are competing with other contenders for high-tech industries, including the aerospace and allied industries. Our actions or lack of actions will affect the economic and social success of our children and future generations.  A decade from now, will we still be talking about diversifying our businesses to supplement the big economic drivers --tourism, military, government and agriculture?
We have the natural assets for developing a clean and high-tech aerospace industry, similar to the astronomy industry. Economic development plans from the distant past, included astronomy and aerospace industries.  Later, astronomy industries developed and brought millions of dollars into our economy.
Good work by the astronomy sector, and pilot-research done by PISCES fostered growing international and national interest to consider Hawaii Island for long-term aerospace projects and allied industries.  Development plans must be long-term in vision, but clear on the short and medium-term action steps.
Like building the airplane industries from the Wright Brother's times, it takes time, dedication and commitment from generation to generation.  In 2015, the Legislature allocated state monies for high-tech facilities on the Big Island. This demonstrates the State's eagerness to support this important, but early industry development.  However, the same Legislature did not fund staffing for PISCES.

Although we have the assets and opportunity to develop vibrant high-tech and aerospace industries, it's ours to lose.  Remember the parent, who gets the child's report card, "Smart, but underperforming. Needs to apply himself."
The Chambers, along with the business leaders need to unite and plan with the legislators, academics institutions, economic developers and community members for long-term, strategies to support aerospace and other high-tech industries. We can create the economic opportunities for high-tech industries to have high tech-jobs supported by a locally trained, high-tech workforce. The jobs would include the continuum from trades through the astronauts. We can prove again that we have action strategies to build our science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs to produce astronauts like Ellison Onizuka.
Rob Kelso outlined a detailed plan for the group, including Legislator Representative Mark Nakashima, Councilmember "Fresh" Onishi, business and community leaders like Barry Taniguchi, Vern Yamanaka, Harvey Tajiri, Joanna Herkes and Al Inoue, our Chambers' Economic Chairs Carol Van Camp and Bill Walters, Workforce Development Representative Blayne Hanagami, Joyce Hamasaki from the Hawaii Community College, along with other JCCIH economic and education committee members.
Kelso outlined a specific plan to start off the future discussion for the Chambers and the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board (HIEDB) to encourage aero-space industries:
"From an aerospace perspective, what might be a couple of target market areas?
1. Space Tourism @ Kona Airport
* Blends State's #1 economy with space
2. Small Satellite Launch Center in East Hawaii  
* Takes advantage of Hawaii's geographic location close to equator
* Large backlog of small satellites looking for a launch
Do these markets provide opportunity for hi-tech economic and business development? YES
Have industries begun to express interest in operating in Hawaii? YES
* Space Tourism - Virgin Galactic and XCOR (both have Non-Disclosure Agreements with Hawaii)
* Small Satellite Launch - Alaska Aerospace Corp.
Proposed plan/solution for attracting these industries:
1. Gain consensus across Chambers of Commerce, HIEDB, Big Island Business Council, etc.   
2. "One Voice" - all business communities talk the same story...all preach the same 2-3 opportunities   
3. Chambers and HIEDB draft a candidate package of inducements/incentives 
* What would State offer?
* What would County offer?
* What would businesses offer?
What legislative bills would be needed for FY17 session?
* Funding for engineering study
* State incentive package for economic development in hi-tech
* Funds to run a third-party analysis of the markets and economic opportunity
* Funds for a marketing / communications strategy for outreach to industry
How can we (local business organizations) help?
Chambers/HIEDB invite and host these industries to Big Island for a visit....
1. Provide free air travel and hotel stay    
2. Discuss their market analysis and predicted # of jobs created   
3. How can university / community college support   
4. Discuss their timeline/schedule 
5. How can we help? 
6. What would it take to setup here? 

7. What incentive package would be useful?

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 [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. 

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.   

Words of Wisdom 
By Tommy Goya, Past President

Tommy Goya
"Those of us who think climate change is a problem should be open about our beliefs and motives--but we also must search for common ground with unlikely allies."
John D. Sutter, CNN Columnist, August 6, 2015





In This Issue




What's Happening

December 24, 25 and 31st 
Chamber office closed

 December 28, 2015
Kadomatsu Workshop: Japanese New Year Decoration
Hilo Meishoin
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
January 1, 2016
Chamber office closed
January 15, 2016
University of Hawaii at Hilo (UH Hilo)
and Hawaii Community College (HCC) Update Presentation
Hilo Yacht Club
11:15 am - 12:45 pm

 January 27, 2016
17th Annual Golf Classic Tournament
Hilo Municipal Golf Course
10:00 am Registration
11:00 am Shotgun
2 person scramble
May 12, 2016
Hawaii Tourism Authority Presentation
Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku'ola Ballroom
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
more information forthcoming

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! 


Virginia Aragon-Barnes

TMT Observatory Corporation

111 Nowelo St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  319-2229

Email:  [email protected]


William P. Kenoi

County of Hawaii Mayor

25 Aupuni St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  961-8211

Fax:  961-6553

Email:  [email protected]


Elyse Robinson

Edward Jones

P. O. Box 6138, Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  990-8433

Email:  [email protected]


Zavi Brees-Saunders 

Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island 

100 Kamakahonu St., Hilo, HI  96720

Ph:  961-5536

Cell:  221-8815

Email:  [email protected]





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

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 
[email protected] 


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