- 2022 JAA REMARKS President Koji Sato
- 2022 Honorary Officers, Officers, Directors and Chairpersons
- JAA 114th Anniversary Virtual GALA
- Social Service
- JAA 14th Sakura Health Fair
- Gifts for the JAA Volunteers from Mr. Yagi
- 2022 New Year’s Greeting Business Card Exchange
- The Nippon Club’s 31st New Year Luncheon for Seniors
- 3.11 Volunteer
- Congratulations! (Mr. Toru Okamoto, Ms. Michiyo Noda, Mr. Takeshi Furumoto)
- Schedule in 2022
- Membership Renewal
- Face of JAA Tatsuo Honma & Emiko Honma
2022 JAA REMARKS
President Koji Sato
Happy New Year. I am very honored to have been elected President of the Japanese American Association of New York, Inc. starting this year, 2022, the year of the tiger.
2021 was a difficult year for JAA as it has been for everyone during the pandemic, but we were fortunate to restart some programs last year. Our senior luncheon program restarted slowly in April of last year with 30 seniors attending due to restrictions and increased as the summer went by. Our seniors were very happy to see each other again after having experienced lockdowns and limited interactions. We were also able to have our baseball tournament this summer and our Tanabata Festival. In the spring, we held our Sakura Matsuri and Scholarship award dinners virtually. This year, JAA held its Spring and Autumn Health fairs on a hybrid basis, with in person programs and on-line programs. The health fair attracted over 3,000 participants from all around the world. Our biggest event of the year, our 114th annual dinner was also held virtually due to COVID restrictions. In keeping with the theme of overcoming the pandemic and moving forward, JAA honored industries that suffered during the pandemic, but are recently seeing a rebound as in the travel and restaurant industries. We also wanted to thank first responders that worked tirelessly through the pandemic. Our awardees this year were All Nippon Airways representing the travel industry, Mr. Shuji Bon Yagi, President of the T.I.C. Restaurant Group and founder of the Japanese Restaurant Association of New York, and Deputy Inspector Naoki Yaguchi of the New York Police Department, who became the highest ranking Japanese American to head a precinct in the NYPD.
I have been a long-time member of JAA becoming a director in 2004, having also served as Vice President since 2009. I hope to continue the tradition of caring for the Japanese community and celebrating and sharing our Japanese culture and heritage with people of all ages and backgrounds as my predecessors have done for so long. I grew up knowing of JAA as my father was a member of JAA, then director and finally became President of JAA in 1989. As representative of JAA, he attended Taiso-no rei in 1989 in Japan when Emperor Akihito ascended to the throne to start the Heisei era. As my father brought in the Heisei era with JAA, I am excited to lead JAA in these early years of the Reiwa era.
I would like to thank Susan Onuma for her solid leadership of JAA these past years as President. Her work and commitment to the Japanese community has been truly inspiring. Her dedication to the Japanese community was honored by the Government of Japan last year when she received one of its highest honors. I would also like to thank Mrs. Michiyo Noda, Executive Director of JAA for all she has done for JAA and the Japanese community and to congratulate her for recently receiving the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Government of Japan for her outstanding work.
JAA is fortunate to have the support of the Consulate General of Japan in New York, Japanese companies and organizations and volunteers and we truly thank each and every one of you for all you have done.
Best wishes to all of you for a wonderful 2022.
JAA Annual General Meeting
Our Annual General Meeting was held on January 26, 2022. The meeting began with last year’s report from Susan Onuma who has been our President. Followed by the greeting from JAA’s New President, Koji Sato. The financial report and the introduction of the Honorary Officers and JAA officers for 2022 were announced. The meeting was held online.
2022 Honorary Officers, Officers, Directors and Chairpersons
Honorary Advisor：Ambassador Mikio Mori – Consulate General of Japan in New York
Hidenori Takaoka – President Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Inc.
Sayu Ueno – President The Nippon Club, Inc.
Life Trustees：Robert K. Emy, MD, Toshio Kiso, Gary S. Moriwaki
Honorary Directors：Suki Terada Ports, Hiroko Onoyama, Joe Oshima
Honorary President：Susan Onuma
Vice Presidents：Yuzuru Anzai, M.D.; Julie Azuma; David Hiromura; Shunichi Homma, M.D.; Keiko Ishida; Riki Ito; Makoto Iwahara, M.D.; Yuki Kaneshige; Susan McCormac; Tsuneko Mitsunaka; Satoru Murase; Kamal Ramani, M.D.; Katsuo Takeda
Assistant Secretary：Julie Azuma
Assistant Treasurer：Masaki Shimomura
Yuzuru Anzai, M.D.; Julie Azuma; Aiko Brody; Tak Furumoto; Kumiko Hasegawa; David Hiromura; George Hirose; Shunichi Homma, M.D.; Keiko Ishida; Nobuhisa Ishizuka; Riki Ito; Makoto Iwahara, M.D.; Yuki Kaneshige; Maki Kano-Lueckerath, M.D.; Keiko Kato; Shuji Kato; Nobuko Kodama; Susan McCormac ; Tsuneko Mitsunaka; Gary S. Moriwaki; Satoru Murase ; Michiyo Noda; Kimihiko Oishi, M.D.; Toru Okamoto; Susan J. Onuma; Kamal Ramani, M.D. Toru Sakamoto; Koji Sato; Masaki Shimomura; Michi Tahara; Wendy Takahisa; Katsuo Takeda; Shuji Bon Yagi; Robert Yanagisawa, M.D
Suki Terada Ports, Hiroko Onoyama and Joe Oshima resigned.
Thank you for your past contributions to JAA.
Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi returned to Japan in February 2022. Ambassador Mikio Mori arrived in New York as his successor.
JAA presented a farewell plaque to Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi and Yukiko Yamanouchi for our appreciation.
Planning & Finance：Makoto Iwahara, Susan Onuma
Communications (JAA News, Brochure & Web)：Susan Onuma, Yuki Kaneshige, Michiyo Noda
Oral History：Julie Azuma
Social Service：Yuzuru Anzai, Riki Ito,
Legal： Nobuhisa Ishizuka, Gary Moriwaki
House：Gary S. Moriwaki, Koji Sato
115th JAA Gala Dinner：Koji Sato
Tanabata Festival： Yuki Kaneshige, Suki Terada Ports
Holiday Party honoring JAA Volunteers： JAA Office
Health Fair： Maki Kano, Michiyo Noda, Aiko Brody
Digital Museum of the History of Japanese in NY： Shunichi Homma, Susan Onuma
Community Service： Yuki Kaneshige
External Affairs：Susan McCormac , Susan Onuma
Audit： David Hiromura
Honjo Scholarship： Gary S. Moriwaki
Art Exhibition： JAA Office
Charity Golf： David Hiromura, Michi Tahara
Sports & Baseball Tournament： Shuji Kato, Kamal Ramani,M.D.
Memorial Day Service： Katsuo Takeda
Japanese Language：Nobuko Kodama
Bazaar/Flea Market： JAA Office
Young Professionals Committee： Yuki Kaneshige, Keiko Kato
Sakura Matsuri： Susan McCormac
Committee on Aging Issues： Susan Onuma, Michiyo Noda
JAA Women in Business Committee： Keiko Ishida, Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Kumiko Hasegawa
Apple Kids：Kuni Mikami
Executive Director：Michiyo Noda
Staffs： Naomi Miyakita, Kuni Mikami
JAA 114th Anniversary Virtual GALA
（l to r）Mr.Yaguchi, Ms. Onuma, Mr. Hattori and Mr. Yagi
The 114th anniversary virtual GALA was held at 7pm-8pm on Friday, December 3, 2021. This time, Mr. Shuji Bon Yagi (Founder of NY Japanese Restaurant Association), Mr. Shigeru Hattori (Senior Vice President, The Americas, General Manager of All Nippon Airways) and Mr. Naoki Yaguchi (NYPD Deputy Inspector) were awarded for their contributions to our community.
GALA Chairman Koji Sato explained JAA’s historical activities. JAA President Susan Onuma introduced the newly established “ Digital Museum of the History of Japanese in NY”. Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi and US Senator for NY, Kirsten Gillibrand sent their congratulatory video messages. Soh Daiko and the JAA Chorus’s Christmas songs enlivened the GALA. JAA Executive Director, Michiyo Noda expressed her gratitude to participants for their support of this important Fund Raising GALA during COVID-19. Please see the list of the names of donors ($1,000 or more) on Page 5. Again, JAA would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for your support. Thanks to your donations, we are now able to maintain and keep JAA Hall.
Youtube site: https://youtu.be/YLbdzDJuepA
Year End Keirokai
The last Keirokai of the year was held on December 9th at JAA Hall decorated with Christmas trees. The hall was full with vaccinated members and we prepared 120 lunch boxes for this party including delivery & pick-ups. The JAA Woman in Business group donated BentOn’s signature bento kit to all attendants. Mr. Toru Furukawa, president of BentOn, who also supported Project Bento, said that he would like to continue to support Keirokai in the future. We also had a birthday party for the members who were born in December.
Keirokai is the place for information exchange and to build friendship among the senior members. Our Keirokai is supported by the Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation, Japanese Medical Society of America and our members’ donation.
Year End Holiday Party
“Holiday party & Volunteers appreciation party” was held on December 17th, 2021 from 5pm to 6:30pm. It was held online and at JAA Hall with limited number of people. People enjoyed the JAA chorus songs, Rich Kameda’s magic, Rakugo by Tozaburo Yanagiya and Kuni Mikami’s Jazz piano. About 50 people participated in the event and via ZOOM.
JAA 14th Sakura Health Fair
This year, the Sakura Health Fair will be co-hosted by JAA and the Japanese Medical Support Network (JAMSNET) and supported by the Consulate General of Japan in New York and the American Medical Association. This year, we plan events for all ages, from infants to seniors, to participate in the theme of “How to live a safe and healthy life under COVID-19”. The Fair will be held from Saturday, April 9 to Sunday, May 8 on-line and at JAA Hall (limited entry). We are currently looking for projects to participate in this year’s program.
Gifts for the JAA Volunteers from Mr. Yagi
At the end of December every year, JAA director Mr. Bon Yagi, representative of the T.I.C. Restaurant Group, hosted a consolation party at a sake brewery in Midtown, but for this year due to the corona disaster he donated the gift of “soba made by Sobaya” for our volunteers. Thank you very much.
2022 New Year’s Greeting Business Card Exchange
From noon on January 13, the new year’s annual Business Card Exchange was held online & at The Nippon Club under the sponsorship of the Consulate General of Japan in New York and supported by three Japanese American organizations (the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, The Nippon Club and JAA). Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi, Mr. Hidenori Takaoka, President of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Mr. Sayu Ueno, President of The Nippon Club and JAA’s new President Koji Sato gave remarks.
The Nippon Club’s 31st New Year Luncheon
This annual “New Year Luncheon for Seniors” was hosted by The Nippon Club and supported by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in NY. This year, the event was held at JAA Hall on February 10th and more than 110 special lunch boxes provided and donated by The Nippon Club were served.
The Consulate General of New York and JAA will deliver Japanese food to Food Bank for New York, commemorating 11years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Supported by MUFG Bank. Details will be in the next issue.
Mr. Toru Okamoto, member of the Board of Directors
received The Foreign Minister’s Commendation
Mr. Okamoto (left) and Amb. Yamanouchi
Mr. Toru Okamoto received The Foreign Minister’s Commendation at a ceremony at Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi’s residence on January 27,2022. He has been the director of Ikuei Gakuen in New York for many years. He was awarded for his long time contribution for the promotion of overseas Japanese language education and Japanese culture. “The award is not an individual thing, but thanks to successive faculty members, graduates, parents, and current students,” and introduced an episode related to the history of the school, which is celebrating its 36th anniversary this year, and finally, “I would like to continue to work hard with the staff.”
JAA Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors Michiyo Noda
received The Foreign Minister’s Commendation
Ms. Noda (left) and Amb. Yamanouchi
Congratulations to Michiyo Noda, Executive Director of JAA for receiving The Foreign Minister’s Commendation at a ceremony at Ambassador Kanji Yamanouchi’s residence on January 27,2022. Mrs. Noda has worked tirelessly for JAA for more than 30 years, first as a volunteer, then as an office assistant, and finally as the Executive Director. She has fostered a multitude of strong and lasting relationships within New York’s Japanese American community, especially with our seniors. Her dedication and grace are inspiring. As Executive Director, Mrs. Noda has helped expand services for seniors, health fairs, Keirokai (senior lunches), family activities and cross cultural events while overseeing over a hundred other programs at JAA each year. At the start of the pandemic, she called each senior member to confirm their wellbeing and to connect them with each other. She then helped direct Project Bento (with Susan McCormac and Erina Yoshida) in pairing volunteers with homebound Japanese and Japanese American seniors for bento delivery and friendly phone calls. She moved JAA programs online, with participants from other regions able to join. There are countless people who have been directly helped by Mrs. Noda over the past three decades.
Congratulations again Michiyo for your many acts of compassion and endless hard work.
Mr. Takeshi Furumoto, member of the Board of Director
received the Consul General’s Commendation
(l to r) Amb. Yamanouchi, Mr. Furumoto and Ms. Furumoto
For championing the rights of Japanese and Japanese Americans in the U.S., Takeshi Furumoto, a longtime JAA member, received the Consul General’s Commendation from Ambassador Yamanouchi of the Consulate General of Japan in New York on January 24, 2022. Mr. Furumoto was born in Tule Lake, a Japanese incarceration camp, during WWII and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during the Vietnam War. He has advocated strongly and has movingly testified before city councils for resolutions such as the Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution NYC in New York City and Fort Lee, New Jersey. JAA is grateful for the honoree’s tireless support of the community, interest in preserving its history and his drive to deepen ties between Japan and the U.S. Congratulations, Mr. Furumoto!
Schedule in 2022
- April 2 (Sat.) Spring Japanese Language Education Workshop on ZOOM
- April 9 (Sat.)- May 8 (Sun.) 14th Sakura Health Fair
- April to August on Sunday mornings the 36th JAA Foreign Minister’s Cup Baseball Tournament
- May 12 (Thurs.) – 21 (Sat.) the JAA 26th Art Exhibition
- May 30 (Mon.) Memorial Day Services at Japanese Cemeteries at Mt Olivet Cemetery
- June 3 (Fri.) 52nd JAA Scholarship Award Dinner
- September 10 (Sat.) – October 2 (Sun) 16th Autumn Health Fair
- Sept. 26 (Mon.) 28th Charity Golf Tournament
- Oct. 15 (Sat.) Japanese Language Fall Workshop
- Nov. 3 (Sat.) JAA Grand Bazaar
- Dec. 2 (Fri.) JAA 115th Anniversary Dinner
- Dec. 16 (Fri.) Holiday/Thank You Party with Volunteers
Please renew your membership and register your emergency contact information! In mid-December of last year, we sent out the JAA Membership Renewal Application Form for 2022, and many members have been updated. thank you. If you are not done yet, please do so by the end of May. As our membership ages, emergency contacts in the U.S. and Japan are becoming important, so please keep up to date with them. We also send out our “events in the month news letter” by E-mail. Please register your E-mail address.
We wish to thank the following companies, organizations and individuals for their generous support of the JAA.
Donation for 2021-2022：
$25,000 from The Mitsui U.S.A. Foundation
in support of Case Worker Fellow and Committee on Aging (Spring and Autumn Health Fairs) and in support of JAA’s Senior Luncheons and Apple Kids Group.
$4,000 from JCOP 2021 Grant Award
$2,000.00 towards JAA’s Keiro-kai Program and $2,500.00 towards JAA’s Spring and Autumn Health Fair.
$4,5000 from JMSNET
Co-sponsors for Health Fair
Donors in 2021 and JAA 114th Anniversary Gala Dinner
$20,000 and above
The Mitsui USA Foundation & Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
$10,000 and above
Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas) MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group)
Nomura America Foundation Orient Corporation of America
$5,000 and above
$1,000 and above
○Japanese Medical Society of America Inc. (JMSA) ○Sumitomo Corporation of Americas Foundation
○Moriwaki, Gary S.○New York Mutual Trading, Inc. ○Different Roads to Learning, Inc.
○ITO EN (North America), Inc.○Japanese Medical Support Network, Inc. (JAMSNET)
○Accomodations in N.Y. Inc.○Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, Inc. ○NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc. ○Pasona NA, Inc.○Sojitz Corporation of America ○Sony Corporation of America○ Anzai, Yuzuru
○Azuma, Julie ○Hasegawa, Kumiko○Ishizuka, Nobuhisa○HKK Chain Corporation of America
○Iwahara, Makoto ○Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.○Kato, Shizuko & Ichiro ○Murase, Satoru & Hiroko
○Noda, Masaki○Onuma, Susan J. ○Relo Redac, Inc. ○Takahisa, Wendy ○Yanagisawa, Robert
○Fujisankei Communications International, Inc.
○Watanabe, Tsugie ○Furumoto, Tak & Carolyn ○Gorgeous Entertainment, Inc. ○Hsia, Reiko-Seo
○Inaba, Gail ○Ikebana International NY Chapter ○the Japan Society ○Kano-Lueckerath, Maki
○Matsukawa, Toshiko ○Ports, Suki T. ○Honda, Stanley ○Aono, Eiko ○Ebihara, Yoshiko ○Higashi, Yumi
○Ishida, Keiko○Ito, Mary T.○Ito, Riki○Iyeki, Marc ○Janes, David ○JETRO New York ○Kaneshige, Yuki
○Kato, Keiko ○Kodama, Nobuko ○McCormac, Susan ○Mitsunaka, Tsuneko ○Nishibayashi,Yosuke
○Noda, Michiyo ○Oishi, Yoshiko ○Okamoto, Toru ○Sakurai, Motoatsu ○Sato, Midori
○Shimomura, Masaki ○Takeda, Akemi ○Takeda, Katsuo ○Friske, Keiko ○Hayashi, Keiichiro
○Iwama, Morimi & Midori ○Kawasaki Heavy Industries (USA), Inc. ○Raith, Fumi ○Tamura, Hazue
○Takaishi, Kenji ○Ishizuka, Yuri ○Kageshima, Kumeko ○Koizumi, Kiyoka ○Matsumoto, Toyokazu
○Simon, Michiko ○Takeda, Yukio ○Tashiro, Lisa ○Yamasaki, Emi
●Mr. Nobu Uchida died at a nursing home in Queens on September 26, 2021. He was 103 years old.
●Ms.Yoshiko Zenda died at a nursing home in NJ on December 5. As a UNITED NATIONS employee, she contributed to the development of Cambodia and other countries. She died at the age of 68
●Ms. Toshiko Matsukawa, who had participated in activities such as JAA chorus, passed away on December 11 at the facility she lived. She was 81 years old.
●Ms. Chiharu Nishio died at The Upper Eastside Rehab & Nursing Center on January 28. She was 99 years old.
●Member Kenro Morimitsu died at home on February 18. He was 87 years old.
Please accept our heartfelt condolences.
Tatsuo Honma & Emiko Honma
Born in Yamaguchi, Japan. Mr. Honma went on to Chuo University and spent his college years focused on boxing. After graduating, he wanted to “be useful for people”, so he got a job at Kobe YMCA in 1955.
Emiko was born in China and returned to Japan at the age of 14 and became involved in youth education when she was in high school. She majored in social welfare at Doshisha University, and later earned a master’s degree in social work in the U.S. After completing a leadership training program, she became a program development expert and worked at the YWCA in the U.S.
In 1961, Mr. & Mrs. Honma worked at the Honolulu YMCA in Hawaii in an overseas training program as a couple to experience teaching a number of programs for two years. Emiko was already a Social Worker in the U.S., and had working experience, when she became a Director at the Honolulu YWCA. In 1964 (the year of the Tokyo Olympics), they returned to Japan and Mr. Honma became a program director of the Tokyo YMCA gymnasium. With the feeling of “making sports a thing for everyone”, he made programs that accepted female members for the first time. In 1979, at the request of the New York YMCA, the couple traveled with their two children and worked in the US for 18 years. They expanded the scope of their activities around NY city, and developed to involve not only Japanese but also many Americans. In 1980, with the cooperation of the Frost Valley YMCA, sports camps and family skis were also added. In 1991, Mr. Honma established the Tokyo Frost Valley YMCA Partnership, elected candidates from young Americans and dispatched them to the YMCA throughout Japan, and played a part in private diplomacy. Mrs. Honma has contributed to people’s exchanges through projects such as “Workshops on the Future and Careers of Japanese High School Students”, “International Luncheons and Dinners for Expatriates” for Japanese Families. In 1996, a friendship house called “Tatsuo Honma Culture Sharing Center” was built with cherry blossoms planted around it. Even after retiring in 1997, he continued to use the center to program “Mutual Understanding between Japan and the United States” and “Introduction to Japanese Culture.”
At the age of 77 in 2008, Mr. Honma published “Hit it and Break It – Half a Century of YMCA in Japan and the U.S.,” and in 2014, an English version was also published. In 2011, the couple were honored in the Frost Valley Hall of Fame for their long time contribution to the development of the Frost Valley YMCA. They are the first Japanese recipients at the YMCA in the U.S. This Partnership continues to send directors from Tokyo YMCA even after the retirement of the founder. Mr. and Mrs. Honma live in New Jersey.