The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) held its 37th Annual Dinner on the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Coral Ballroom. Nearly 400 members and supporters attended the gala event that is the major annual fundraising event for the Society.
A major part of the event is to honor a member of the community with the JASH Bridge Award for supporting working to build bridges of understanding and friendship between Hawaii and Japan. This year the Society honored former JASH Chair and President & CEO of First Insurance Company of Hawaii, Mr. Allen Uyeda. Mr. Uyeda was honored for his years of service to the community through support of organizations such as the Japanese American National Museum, Hawaii Asia Pacific Association, U.S.-Japan Council, Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation, and JASH. The award pointed to his passion for supporting cultural and educational exchanges to promote the important relationship between Hawaii and Japan. In the audience were students he personally helped.
Each year, JASH brings a renowned diplomat to address the dinner attendees. This year we were fortunate that former Japanese Ambassador to the U.S., Honorable Ichiro Fujisaki made the trip from Tokyo to speak to us. Ambassador Fujisaki covered the economic situation of Japan and the geo-politics of the region, but also spent time addressing the need to continue promoting educational and cultural exchanges between Japan and the U.S. It was an appropriate topic because he just assumed the position of President of the America-Japan Society Inc., an umbrella organization that coordinates the activities of 30 America-Japan Societies throughout Japan. Many of them are affiliated with JASH through educational and cultural exchanges. Following his talk, Ambassador Fujisaki took questions from the audience.
JASH welcomed senior military representatives from the community as well as State and City officials. Representatives of both Hawaii Governor Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Caldwell presented remarks on the occasion, and a message of support was sent by Hawaii’s Representative Colleen Hanabusa. KITV News Reporter and JASH friend Lara Yamada did the emcee duties. Japanese Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda offered the closing kampai for another successful year.
JASH would like to thank all the table sponsors, supporters, and attendees for their support of this annual dinner, and for their support throughout the year. Names of sponsors and supporters can be found listed here. Mahalo to our official event photographer, Tony Grillo, of Artistic Mindz Photography and our volunteer photographer Colby Takeda for capturing our event. Please click on their names for a link to their photos.