A video message from U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and a keynote address by newly-nominated Pacific Command Commander Admiral Harry Harris highlighted Japan-America Society of Hawaii’s (JASH) 38th Annual Dinner held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Coral Ballroom. A capacity crowd of over 400 including 30 JASH Board Members supported this gala event, the major fundraising event for the Society.
This year’s honoree for the JASH Bridge Award was Hawaiian Airlines. Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Peter Ingram was there to accept the award on behalf of the Hawaiian Airlines team. Admiral Harris and his wife Ms. Bruni Bradley headed a distinguished list of guests to include Honolulu’s Mayor Kirk Caldwell, former Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi and Mrs. Jean Ariyoshi, Japan’s Consul General Toyoei Shigeeda and Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda, Korean Consul General Walter Paik and Mrs. Jeong Ki Min, and joining us from Nagaoka City, Mayor Tamio Mori. KITV’s anchor and reporter Lara Yamada again acted as emcee.
Hawaiian Airlines was honored for their efforts to open new air connections to Japan, which expanded not only tourism and business, but cultural and also educational exchange opportunities as well. JASH President Ed Hawkins highlighted the significant contributions Hawaiian Airlines has made to JASH educational programs with donations of air travel to Japan, and supporting the disaster-affected Japanese kids who came to Hawaii following the tragic earthquake and tsunami of March, 2011 under the Rainbow for Japan Kids project. In accepting the award, Mr. Peter Ingram thanked JASH and its members, and reiterated Hawaiian Airlines’ desire to continue partnering with JASH in supporting educational and other community support programs it provides.
Keynote speaker Admiral Harry Harris spoke about the importance of U.S.-Japan relations in maintaining regional security and economic and political development in the region, praising JASH for the work it does to promote relations with Japan. He reiterated former Ambassador Mike Mansfield in saying the U.S.-Japan relationship is the most important bilateral relationship, bar none.
Ambassador Kennedy’s message complimented JASH for another successful year of building bridges with Japan through its educational and exchange programs, specifically noting the work done for the relief of Japanese victims of the 3/11 disaster that carries on to this day, and the management of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship that allows U.S. and Japanese college students to study in respective countries.
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. Thank you also to Hilton Hawaiian Village for having us for so many years. Video message from Ambassador Kennedy and videos of the TOMODACHI-Rainbow Project and the tribute to Hawaiian Airlines can be found in the following links: