2. President Koji Sato Dynamic Achiever Award
    3. JAA’s 116th Anniversary Gala Dinner
    4. The 29th JAA Charity Golf Tournament
    5. The 17th Autumn Health Fair
    6. 9/11 Community service
    7. NJ Governor Trip to Japan
    8. Hope Against Hate Campaign
    9. JAA Young Professional Networking
    10. JAA Japanese Language Committee Workshop
    11. Grand Bazaar in Nov.
    12. Holiday Party
    13. JAA Volunteers were invited
    14. Social Service
    15. Donations
    16. Obituary


JAA President: Koji Sato

On New Year’s day, January 1st, we heard the shocking news of the Noto Peninsula earthquake in Japan. We send the survivors our hopes for recovery, and for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in this widespread disaster. For those wishing to contribute to the rebuilding of these communities, the JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund is collecting donations.

2023 marked a new beginning for JAA as we moved to our new Hall and office space on the 5th floor of the same building at 49 W. 45th St. in February 2023. After our old space on the 11th floor was flooded at the end of July 2022, JAA was unable to hold most of its usual activities onsite. It was a relief and pleasure to finally resume our activities at the new JAA Hall early last year. We thank all of you who supported JAA while we were in the process of preparing and moving to the new JAA Hall. If you have not already done so, we look forward to welcoming you back so please visit us at the new JAA Hall.

The opening of the new JAA space last February allowed us to resume one of JAA’s most active programs, our Keirokai/Senior Luncheon which we hold twice a month for 72 senior citizens. JAA also provides 60 additional bento lunches for pick-up or delivery to seniors who are not able to attend. Our seniors were very happy to see each other again as they were not able to do so while JAA was shut down. In March, JAA was able to participate in a 3.11 volunteer event to help the Bowery Mission and Food Bank for NYC by serving meals. JAA was happy to also participate in a 9/11 event to serve over 400 meals and to organize clothing donations at the Bowery Mission. JAA also volunteered to prepare meal kits on-board the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to be distributed to New Yorkers in need.

In April, JAA held its 18th Sakura Matsuri at Flushing Meadows Corona Park and had our Bosankai at the Japanese Cemetery in Mt. Olivet on Memorial Day at the end of May. It is worthy to note that the founder of JAA, Dr. Toyohiko Takami, purchased this land to start the Japanese Cemetery in 1912. Our Spring Health Fair was held on a hybrid basis, with in-person programs and online programs on topics such as COVID, health care, mental health, exercise, and nutrition. On May 13th, JAA was proud to have participated in the 2nd Japan Parade. In May, we also held JAA’s 53rd Anniversary Scholarship Dinner and awarded $92,000 in scholarships and 2 roundtrip All Nippon Airways tickets to Japan to 11 graduating high school seniors and 5 graduate students. The NYC Tanabata Festival in July held in Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side attracted many people on a beautiful evening. Our sports fans were able to enjoy the JAA Foreign Minister’s Cup Baseball Tournament held in Central Park from April to August, as well as the JAA’s Annual Golf Tournament held in October at the New York Country Club.

The highlight of the summer was Japanese Heritage Night held at Citi Field on August 25th when superstar Shohei Ohtani and the L. A. Angels played against National League All-Star pitcher Kodai Senga and the N. Y. Mets. Japanese Heritage Night was a collaborative effort among JAA, the Consulate General of Japan in New York, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Japan Society, U.S.-Japan Council, and the Japanese American National Museum. At the game, JAA Board Member, Vietnam War Veteran, and Japanese American civil rights activist, Mr. Takeshi “Tak” Furumoto was honored as the Veteran of the Game.
The Autumn Health Fair attracted over 2,000 participants from all over the world to participate in programs regarding a variety of health issues, including hate crimes. In October, JAA’s Young Professionals Committee held a successful social networking event which created an opportunity for JAA to introduce itself to New York’s younger generation of Japanese, Japanese Americans and those interested in Japan. JAA reached out to the anime generation with a booth at Anime NYC 2023 in November where thousands of fans of anime, manga and cosplay were brought together at the Javits Center.

Our biggest event of the year was the 116th Anniversary Dinner held in December at the Harvard Club. We honored Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas) with our Corporate Community Leadership Award for their continued support of JAA and for providing philanthropic support that benefits our community and strengthens U.S.-Japan relations. We also honored Mr. Takeshi “Tak” Furumoto with the Community Leadership Award for his outstanding contributions to the Japanese American community and for being instrumental in establishing January 30th of each year as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in the State of New Jersey and the City of New York.

JAA greatly appreciates the support of the Consulate General of Japan in New York, Japanese companies, 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 New Year.

JAA President Koji Sato received the 2023 Dynamic Achiever Award at the OCA Westchester and Hudson Valley Chapter Gala hosted on November 11 at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel. The keynote speech on the day was given by JAA Director Takeshi Furumoto.

At the General Election Meeting held on November 27, Mr. Koji Sato was re-elected for his third term as JAA President.

JAA Officers for fiscal 2024

President: Koji Sato
Vice Presidents: Dr. Yuzuru Anzai, Julie Azuma, David Hiromura,
Dr. Shunichi Homma, Keiko Ishida, Riki Ito, Dr. Makoto Iwahara,
Yuki Kaneshige, Susan McCormac, Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Satoru Murase,
Dr. Kamal Ramani, Katsuo Takeda
Secretary: Nobuhisa Ishizuka
Assistant Secretary: Julie Azuma
Treasurer: Kumiko Hasegawa
Assistant Treasurer: Masaki Shimomura
The 2024 Board of Directors and Committee Chairs will be introduced in the next issue of JAANEWS.

JAA’s 116th Anniversary Gala Dinner

Left photo, Mr. Kawate of Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas) (center)/Right photo, Mr. Furumoto (center), All photos by Masao Katagami

On Friday, December 8, JAA held its 116th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the Harvard Club, attended by 190 guests, including Ambassador Mikio Mori, Mr. and Mrs. Tetsuo Kawate, President of Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Mr. and Mrs. Sayu Ueno, President of Mitsui & Co.(U.S.A.), Mr. and Mrs. Takeshi Furumoto, Mr. Masatoshi Komoriya, Executive Chairman of the Board MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, and JAA members and friends.

The Gala opened with Christmas songs sung by the New York Mixed Chorus. Co-chair of the Gala Committee, Gary Moriwaki, JAA Lifetime Trustee, gave opening remarks, and JAA President Koji Sato took the stage to look back on 2023 and to express his gratitude to companies and individuals for their kind support. Ambassador Mori made a toast, and the dinner began. During the dinner, we enjoyed the jazz performance of the Naoya Ogura Band. JAA awarded two people for their extraordinary contributions, and Honorary President Susan J. Onuma presented awards to Mr. Tetsuo Kawate, President of Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas) for Corporate Community Leadership in supporting JAA’s programs for many years and its significant contributions to the establishment of the online museum, “Digital Museum of the History of Japanese in New York.”
Takeshi Furumoto received the Individual Community Leadership Award for his role in lobbying to make Fred Korematsu Day a state holiday in the State of New Jersey and speaking out about Japanese American history from his own personal experiences.

JAA was also honored by the attendance of Governor Kathy Hochul’s representative Mr. Brial Tubner of Empire State Development and the special message from New York State Attorney General Letitia James. At the end of the event, Co-Chair of the Gala Committee, Dr. Robert Yanagisawa, and JAA Executive Director, Mrs. Michiyo Noda, expressed their gratitude to the supporting companies and individuals, and the annual gala came to a successful conclusion. Many thanks to Julie Azuma and Masao Katagami for a lively digital presentation which showcased the energy and impact of JAA.

JAA 116th Anniversary Gala Dinner
Gala Sponsorship and donation

Platinum Sponsorships ($15,000)

  • Furumoto Realty
  • ITO EN (North America), Inc.
  • Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
  • MUFG Bank, Ltd.
  • Orient Corporation of America

Gold Sponsorships ($10,000)

  • T.I.C. Restaurant Group

Silver Sponsors ($7,500)

  • Julie Azuma/Wendy Takahisa

Bronze Sponsorships ($5,000)

  • George Hirose
  • Japanese Medical Society of America Inc. (JMSA)
  • ORIX Corporation USA
  • Gary S. Moriwaki / Susan J. Onuma

$6,000 from J.C.C. Fund at Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York
$4,000 from Sumitomo Corporation of America for 2024

The 29th JAA Charity Golf Tournament

JAA’s Annual Charity Golf Tournament was held at the New York Country Club on Oct.16th (Mon.). A total of 81 people entered, including Deputy Chief of Mission Akira Endo of the Consulate General of Japan in New York, and Mr. Toshio Nomura, General Manager of ANA’s Americas Office and General Manager of the New York Branch.

At 9:30 a.m., the tournament started with a shotgun, and it was held under the autumn sun. After golfing, the annual raffle and awards ceremony were held.

In the end, the scores of each hole were compared, and Mr. Hitoshi Yoshida was crowned the winner. He also won the Drakon Prize (driving contest). He was presented with the trophy by JAA President Koji Sato, and the supplementary prize “ANA JFK = Tokyo Round-trip Business Class Ticket” from ANA NY Branch Manager Mr. Toshio Nomura. Second place went to Mr, Sugao Yasumura, and third place went to Mr. Kosuke Yoshii. Mr. Kirk Oguri won men’s best gross award, and Ms. Chikako Hanaoka won in the Women’s category. There were no winners for the hole-in-one prize.

For the raffle, the grand prize “ANA JFK = Tokyo Round-trip Economy Class Ticket” was won by Ms. Kumiko Hasegawa and the first prize, a pair of roundtrip tickets for United Air Lines (any of the 48 states excluding Hawaii and Alaska), was won by JAA Vice President Katsuo Takeda. The $6,000 in raffle proceeds and a portion of the entry fees will go toward JAA activities.

For the raffle, the grand prize “ANA JFK = Tokyo Round-trip Economy Class Ticket” was won by Ms. Kumiko Hasegawa and the first prize, a pair of roundtrip tickets for United Air Lines (any of the 48 states excluding Hawaii and Alaska), was won by JAA Vice President Katsuo Takeda. The $6,000 in raffle proceeds and a portion of the entry fees will go toward JAA activities.
At the end of the event, Mr. David Hiromura, Chairman of the Charity Golf Committee and JAA Vice President, expressed his gratitude to all the participants, sponsoring companies, and individuals. Thank you for your participation and support.

The 17th Autumn Health Fair

This year’s Autumn Health Fair offered 50 programs online (via ZOOM and YouTube) from September 8 to October 8, 2023. In keeping with our theme, “To live a healthy and secure life now with COVID-19,” we provided information on Social Welfare for the Elderly: Medicare, U.S.-Japan Pension and Return to Japan, Medicaid Planning and Estate Planning, and Home Care, Senior Housing in Japan and the U.S., Nationality, Dementia, Children’s Health and Education, Training and Mental Support on Hate Crimes, Calligraphy, Tea Ceremony, Haiku classes and more. 2,018 people participated online and in-person.

9/11 Community service

9/11 Community Services, co-organized by JAA and the Consulate General in New York, prepared breakfast and lunch at The Bowery Mission on September 11, served food, organized the clothing room, and donated clothing. On the 12th, as part of the nonprofit 9/11 Day’s annual activity, meal-packing was held at the Intrepid Museum. We are grateful for the participation of MUFG Bank, JETAANY, Abeam Consulting, USJC, Mitsui & Co.(U.S.A.), Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, NY Japanese American Lions Club, and many JAA members for these events.

NJ Governor Trip to Japan

On June 2, New Jersey Governor Phil and Tammy Murphy held a dinner before visiting Japan in October, with guests Ambassador Mikio Mori, Tomonori Wada, President of Sumitomo Corporation of America, Kenichi Kawamoto, Director of JETRO NY, JAA President Koji Sato, Honorary President Susan Onuma, and JAA Director Takeshi Furumoto.

“Hope Against Hate Campaign” with the Asian American Federation & JAA

  1. Psychological counseling sessions were offered by clinical psychologist Dr. Eri Kubota.
  2. Dr. Eri Kubota’s online lecture on “Changes in Quality of Life/QOL brought about by Corona” was held on November 18th.
  3. Mr. Eiji Takamori held online and in-person stress reduction and mindfulness classes on October 25, November 10 and December 8.
  4. A roundtable discussion entitled, “Would You Like to Talk about the Difficulties of Living as an Asian?” chaired by Aiko Brody, an ICF-certified life coach, were held on November 11 and December 9.

JAA Young Professional Networking

On October 26, the first social networking event hosted by JAA’s Young Professionals Committee was held at Tsuru TonTan with 35 participants. Young leaders of the next generation of Japanese, Japanese American and those interested in Japan have restarted this vital network.

Online Autumn JAA Japanese Language Committee Workshop

“The Autumn JAA Japanese Language Workshop” was held on Saturday, October 28, from 10 am to 12 pm via Zoom. There were 50 participants from Japan, the United States and other countries and it was a great success.

Prof. Yoko Kuwahara of the University of Fukui- Language Center gave a lecture titled, “Creating Reading Materials Using Live Materials: Focusing on the Beginner’s Level.” Beginners were given access to pharmacy medicine bags, stamp cards from stores, bath salts, and restaurant review blogs. There are three levels of explanation for beginners to read the information in the material. First, select the necessary information, then focus on the parts that need to be understood, and finally learn how to make sense of it. Participants were divided into small groups and discussed what kinds of description were written in the reviews of okonomiyaki restaurants on blogs. It was a good workshop to understand the words used in everyday living such as “excellent-saiko,” “chewy-mochi mochi,” and “hot-atsu atsu.”

(JAA’s Japanese Language Committee Chairman, Nobuko Kodama.)

2023 Grand Bazaar in Nov.

Our Annual Grand Bazaar was held on the beautiful day of November 18, 2023, at JAA Hall. We raised $5,000 from this Bazaar. Thank you to those who donated goods, visited us, helped from setup to tidying up, and cooked delicious meals. We had a lot of eager shoppers at new JAA Hall the entire day! Our leftover clothes were donated to the Salvation Army. Thank you for your cooperation and hard work.

2023 Holiday Party

On December 15 (Fri), “JAA Annual Holiday Party” was held. Under the Christmas tree decorated by Ms. Shizuko Kato, we enjoyed the songs of the JAA Chorus, the jazz piano music of Mr. Kuni Mikami, and the harmonica played by Mr. Norimichi Ishikawa. Also, Ms. Mai Mukuno & Mr. Hideo Nakamura sang several Japanese and Beatles songs. There were 60 participants including several young people who volunteered at the 3.11, 9.11 & Anime NYC events, who enjoyed learning more about JAA with good food and smiles on their faces.

JAA Volunteers were invited!

On Thursday, December 28th, Mr. Bon Yagi, President of the T.I.C. Restaurant Group, invited JAA volunteers to a New Year’s Eve soba lunch at “Sakagura” in Midtown. Thank you very much!

Keirokai & Social Service Committee

September 28, we held a Keirokai in honor of Japan’s Keiro-no hi (Respect for the Aged Day). JAA Vice President Satoru Murase donated Nippon Club’s special obento by Executive Chef Hideki Anryo. We enjoyed Dr. Yuzuru Anzai’s lecture on influenza and COVID-19 vaccines and the Iwaki Band’s musical performance.

Keirokais were also held on September 14 with the singer Marin Naruse singing the island songs of Amami Oshima and on October 12, with a lunchtime piano concert by Consul Daisuke Sakuraba.

Happy birthday for November

The Year-end Keirokai was held on December 14th at JAA Hall. We prepared 120 BentOn bento boxes for seniors to eat at JAA Hall, and for delivery and pickup. The JAA Women in Business Committee presented everyone with a BentOn special food kit. BentOn President Toru Furukawa also participated and said that he would like to continue to support JAA’s senior programs. We also held a birthday party for those born in December. The members of the Iwaki Band were Kiichi Iwaki, as leader and on violin, Koji on piano and vocals, with singers Yukio Takeda, Tsugie Watanabe, Hideko, Nita & Shinzo Yonezawa.
We held 18 Keirokai in 2023 with generous support by the Mitsui USA Foundation and the Asian American Federation.


Donation of $1,993 from volunteer hair stylists:

Hair stylists (Ms. Michi Tahara, Mr. Shige Kosuda, Mr. Nori Sasaki, Ms. Yasuko Tsuda, Mr. Haruka Kobayashi, Mr. Jimmy Akimoto and Kazunori Ueno) not only gave free haircuts to 179 seniors but donated their tips to JAA! Thank you!

Thank you very much for your support of JAA’s two disaster Relief Funds !

JAA Turkey Earthquake Relief Fund

We sent this donation of $4,655.00 to Turkish Philanthropy Funds-Turkish Earthquake Relief Fund for rebuilding efforts to meet the urgent needs of the victims of the devastating Feb. 6 earthquakes, and to help support the rebuilding efforts of southern Turkey.

JAA Maui Disaster Relief Fund

JAA sent this donation of $12,345.00 to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s “Maui Strong Fund” for rebuilding efforts in Lahaina.

August 8, 2023, fires fanned by hurricane-force winds swept through the town of Lahaina and other areas of Maui, inflicting terrible damage on their communities. There have been 100 deaths and 4 people missing reported so far and 2,200 structures in this historic town were destroyed.


  • Ms. Toshiko Inoue passed away on October 1st in New Jersey. She was 94 years old and was enjoying the Keirokai luncheons at JAA.
  • Mrs. Shigeno Okamoto died of heart failure on November 4th. She was 90 years old. She served as a board member of Sogetsu Ryu Ikebana and Ikebana International, where she spread the traditional culture of “ikebana” in New York and served as a bridge between Japan and the United States.
  • Former JAA board member Ms. Nobuko Kobi Narita passed away on November 8 at her home in Los Angeles. She was 97 years old. She moved to New York in ’69 and had been a leader and contributor to the New York jazz scene ever since. In 1996, she was presented with the prestigious Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Award at the Kennedy Center.
  • Mrs. Yoshie Fujita passed away on December 2nd at Isabella House. She was 103 years old. She was one of JAA volunteers for mailings, keirokai and Bazaars & Flea Market during 1980-2000. She enjoyed attending Keirokai well into her 80’s.
  • Ms. Shizue Osumi passed away on December 22nd. She was 94 years old. At the year-end party on December 14th, she was in good spirits.

They all contributed greatly to JAA and will be missed.