JAA Japan Disaster Relief

The Mitsui Road Runners (MRR) participated in the 2015 New York Marathon, and JAA received a matching fund of $2,750.00. Under its matching program, the Mitsui USA Foundation makes a $25 donation per runner, per race to support JAA’s Japan Disaster Relief Fund. Mitsui USA New York will continue "Running for the Children of Tohoku" in 2016 and beyond. With hope that other companies will consider this initiative. JAA appreciates Mitsui’s volunteer runners program.

Five Students from Tohoku visited JAA

JAA supported the Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese and invited 5 high schoolers from Tohoku to New York. Five students and Nobuko Uchida, Professor Emeritus of Ochanomizu University, visited JAA on March 17th and spoke about their experiences and their future plans.
Ms. Uchida gave a lecture regarding the psychological issues of surviving a disaster.


Ms. Ports (right)

Suki Terada Ports

A longtime member and vice president of JAA, Suki Terada Ports received the "Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays" from the Japanese Government. The ceremony was held on February 5th, 2016, at the Ambassador’s Residence in Manhattan, NY. To a standing room only audience, Ambassador Takahashi, Manhattan Borough President Hon. Gale A. Brewer, Dr. John J. Chin, Ms. Susan Onuma, and former NYC Mayor Hon. David Dinkins all spoke fondly about Suki. A native New Yorker, Ms. Ports has been a pioneering force in community-based activism for Japanese and Asian Americans for several decades. She has been active in JAA since the 1970s, motivated by her deep interest in cross-cultural exchanges and the well being of aging Japanese Americans. Suki has contributed greatly to the advancement of health services in the Asian American community. She established APICHA, which provides HIV tests, treatment, and prevention resources. Ms. Ports has been tireless in ensuring advancements in cultural understanding between the people of Japan and the U.S. and in improving the quality of life for Japanese and Japanese Americans in New York.

Dr. Homma (left)

Dr. Shunichi Homma, JAA Vice President

On January 22nd 2016, Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi hosted a Conferment Ceremony of the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for Doctor Shunichi Homma. Dr. Homma was president of Japanese Medical Society of America (JMSA) from 2005 to 2008, and he created Japanese Medical Support Network in New York (JAMSNET) in 2006. Since then, many medical support groups in the area have worked to exchange information to improve support for health, social services, and education for local Japanese communities. Dr. Homma also established the Consortium for Japan Relief (CJR) with his colleagues at Columbia University after the Great East Japan Earthquake to provide support for the affected area through actively participating in symposiums with students, performing field investigations, and fundraising. The CJR has helped raise the standard of clinical education by conducting programs involving students from Fukushima Medical University, which has produced a number of leaders.
Dr. Homma came to New York at the age of 13 due to his father’s work. He obtained his MD at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine after graduating from Dartmouth University. He is the Margaret Milliken Hatch Professor of Medicine, Deputy Chief of its Cardiology Division.

JAA Annual General Meeting
And Konshinkai

We had our Annual General Meeting on January 27, 2016. The financial report was followed by the introduction of the Honorary Officers and Committee Chairpersons. All were approved. We also introduced our JAA officers for 2016 and new board of directors. The MC was Mr. Koji Sato. The Konshinkai followed the General Meeting. Opening greetings were given by Mr. Hayato Ishizuka from the Consulate General of Japan in New York and JAA President, Susan Onuma. After the dinner, JAA members and guests enjoyed a musical performance by JAA Music Award & Scholarship awardees Miho Saegusa on violin and Hitomi Fukuda on piano.

2016 Honorary Officers, Officers, Directors and Chairpersons

Honorary Officers
Honorary Advisor: Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi
Consulate General of Japan in New York
Honorary Members:
Yasuyuki Sugiura
President of Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York
Motomu Takahashi
President of the Nippon Club
Life Trustees: Robert K. Emy, Toshio Kiso, Noboru Sato
Honorary Directors: Michiko Ito Crampe, Yusuke Iwasaki,Kinichi Shibutani
Honorary President: Gary S. Moriwaki


President: Susan J. Onuma
Vice Presidents: Yuzuru Anzai, M.D.*, Julie Azuma, David Hiromura, Shunichi Homma, M.D.,
Keiko Ishida,
Riki Ito, Makoto Iwahara, M.D., Tsuneko Mitsunaka, Satoru Murase, Hiroko Onoyama,
Joe Oshima, Seiko Oshima, Suki Terada Ports, Kamal Ramani, M.D., Koji Sato, Katsuo Takeda
Secretary: Koji Sato
Assistant Secretary: Julie Azuma
Treasurer: Joe Oshima
*New vice president


*Yuzuru Anzai, M.D., Julie Azuma, Ken Egawa, Tetsuya Fujita, Tak Furumoto, Susan Hamaker,
Kumiko Hasegawa, Keiichiro Hayashi, David Hiromura, George Hirose, Shunichi Homma, M.D.,
Keiko Ishida, *Hayato Ishizuka, Riki Ito, Makoto Iwahara, M.D., Yuri Kaneshige, Shuji Kato,
Takayoshi Kato, Nobuko Kodama, Emiko A. Lindsay, Kuni Mikami, Tsuneko Mitsunaka,
Gary S. Moriwaki, Satoru Murase, Nobuko Cobi Narita, Michiyo Noda, Robert Norton, Toru Okamoto,
Hiroko Onoyama, Susan J. Onuma, Joe Oshima, Seiko Oshima, Suki Terada Ports, Kamal Ramani, M.D.,
Yoko Sasaki, Koji Sato, Matsuko Shibuya, *Masaki Shimomura, Toshiteru Tada, Michi Tahara,
Katsuo Takeda, *Shuho Bon Yagi, Aileen Yamaguchi, Robert Yanagisawa M.D.
44 directors *New Director

Committee Chairpersons
Standing Committees

Planning & Finance: David Hiromura, Katsuo Takeda
Membership-Corporate: Satoru Murase
Membership-Individual: Julie Azuma
Communications (JAA News, Brochure & Web): Julie Azuma, Susan Hamaker, Michiyo Noda
Archives: Riki Ito, Michiyo Noda
Social Service: Aileen Yamaguchi, Suki Terada Ports, Seiko Oshima, Yoko Sasaki
Scholarship: Julie Azuma, Koji Sato
House/Relocation: Gary S. Moriwaki
Legal: Koji Sato

Special Committees
External Affairs:
Shunichi Homma, Suki T. Ports and Katsuo Takeda
Audit: Kumiko Hasegawa, Masaki Shimomura
Honjo Scholarship: Gary S. Moriwaki
Music: Hiroko Onoyama, Joe Oshima, Matsuko Shibuya
Art Exhibition: Yoko Sasaki, George Hirose
Sports & Baseball Tournament: Shuji Kato, Kamal Ramani
Memorial Day Service: Katsuo Takeda
Japanese Language: Nobuko Kodama
Charity Golf: David Hiromura, Michi Tahara
Bazaar/Flea Market: JAA Office
Sakura Matsuri at Flushing Meadows Corona Park: Susan Hamaker, Suki Terada Ports
Committee on Aging Issues: Susan Onuma, Riki Ito, Michiyo Noda
Business Women’s Committee: Keiko Ishida, Tsuneko Mitsunaka
Apple Kids: Hiroyuki Takenaga
Young Professional Committee: Yuki Kaneshige, Jasmine Wilson

Special Events
109th JAA Gala Dinner on Dec.2, 2016: Julie Azuma, Nozomi Terao
Holiday Party honoring JAA Volunteers on Dec.16: Tsuneko Mitsunaka

Executive Director: Michiyo Noda
Staffs: Naomi Miyakita, Kuni Mikami, Terue Saito

Volunteers at Food Bank of NYC on March 11
Report and Thank you letter from Japanese Consulate General in New York

Dear JAA Volunteer Team,

Thanks to your gifts of time and energy and kindness, we came together as a Japanese/Japanese American/consular community to make the fifth anniversary of March 11th a meaningful day of service to New Yorkers at Food Bank of NYC. Volunteer Chef Eric Takahashi made it possible for us to serve Japanese food there for the first time, to 275 people, a huge and complex undertaking, and everyone contributed in substantial ways. These all made the meals a wonderful way to connect with the West Harlem community, Food Bank staff and with each other. It was great volunteering with all of you and thank you for your valuable time and good spirits!

Best wishes,
Yuki Kaneshige
Japanese Consulate General in New York

Spring Flea Market

Our Flea Market was held on Saturday April 2nd. Many people came in spite of the weather. Our net was $8,000. JAA deeply appreciates all the volunteers and kitchen crew.

JAA Japanese Language Committee

Spring Workshop was held on March 12th. This year’s theme was "Teaching Method that Pursues ‘Inquiry’ and Technology. " Three lectures were given: (1)"Bridging the Language Classroom Beyond for Future Citizens" by Miki Yagi, Harvard University, and Yumi Masui Reker, New York University; (2) "Interactive Blended Leaning with Global Competences of the Incident of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant" by Kazuo Tsuda, UNIS; and (3) "Rethinking Japanese Language Education Through Technology: How We Teach What to Whom" by Hisae Matsui, Princeton University.

Grand Kabuki at Carnegie Hall

A memorable event was held on March 1th at Carnegie Hall. Ebizo Ichikawa XI of the Japanese Grand Japan Theater performed with other Kabuki actors and Noh and Kyogen performers. A sold-out audience of 2,804 were so impressed, they gave a standing ovation after the concluding act "Lion Dance: Kagami Jishi". JAA’s Grand Japan Theater Committee (Mr. Gary Moriwaki, Ms. Hiroko Onoyama) was able to sell more than 500 tickets and helped to make this event a success.

Chanko Nabe Lunch

JAA seniors were invited at "Sumo Chaya Azusa" on April 1st by former Sumo wrestler Kyokutenho and enjoyed Chanko Nabe.

2016 New Year Reception
at the Nippon Club

This annual event sponsored by the Consulate General and co-sponsored by JAA, the Nippon Club and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of NY was held on January 8 at the Nippon Club with more than 250 people in attendance. Greetings were given by Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Mr. Yasuyuki Sugiura of JCCI, Mr. Motomu Takahashi of Nippon Club and our President, Susan Onuma.

The 25th Nippon Club’s New Year Party for Seniors

This 25th annual "New Year Party for Seniors" was hosted by the Nippon Club on January 28. The tables were beautifully spread with traditional New Year’s delicacies for the 80 senior guests. First, Mr. Motohiro Satoh, Executive Secretary of the Nippon Club, gave New Year greetings to all in attendance. Guests enjoyed the performance of the Nippon Club Women’s Chorus and Kagura Performance. JAA President Ms. Susan Onuma gave a thank you speech and presented flowers to Mr. Satoh. The Nippon Club presented a special cake to celebrate Mr. Haruo Ito’s 104th birthday. 30 packaged lunches were delivered to those seniors of JAA and JASSI who were unable to attend.

The 46th JAA Scholarships

Since 1971, The Japanese American Association of New York, Inc. has awarded scholarships to graduating high school students of Japanese descent living in the tri-state area of NY, NJ and CT who are applying to United States institutions of higher learning. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $10,000. ANA may also award airline tickets to Japan to certain scholarship recipients this year. The Annual Scholarship Dinner will be held on June 9th, 2016, at the Harvard Club. Our keynote speaker will be Burgess Professor Emeritus Gerald Curtis of Columbia University. The application form is available on the JAA website and at the JAA office.
The deadline is May 13, 2016.

Save the Date: June 9, 2016

Our 46th JAA Scholarship Dinner will be held at the Harvard Club (35 West 44th Street, New York City). Our keynote speaker is Gerald Curtis, Burgess Professor Emeritus\ of Columbia University.

The 8th Sakura Health Fair

The 8th Sakura Health Fair will be held from April 8th to April 30th. There will be more than 50 events and workshops targeting from kids to seniors.

The 31st Foreign Minister Cup
Baseball Tournament

The tournaments will be start on May 1 with 17 teams. Please visit www.jaabaseball.blogspot.com

Obama Care
Affordable Care Act & Health Insurance Marketplace

Together with Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF), the seminars and individual consultations led by navigators Ms. Kumiko Seki and Ms. Takako Hara have been held regularly since last year. Topics of the workshops will be "Pregnant mothers can join health-care program anytime" on 4/20 and "How to use cleverly" on 4/27. The direct telephone line is (646) 892-7792. E-mail: navigator@cacf.org.

JAA Social Service Committee

February Kerokai on Feb. 11 and 25.
Classical guitarist Kazuki Ueki and Soprano Hirona Amamiya had a concert on Feb. 11. Mrs. Chizuko Korn arranged flowers of pink cherry trees. Mrs. Shizuko Kato and Ms. Hiroko Onogawa displayed JAA’s traditional Ohinasama at JAA Hall on Feb. 25 for Hinamatsuri Keirokai.

Happy Birthday in January & February

(l to r) Ms. Umemiya and Mr. Ueki

March Keirokai on March 10 and 24
Mr. Shigetoshi Nakano sang American popular songs on March 10. Ms. Leona Chen and Ms. Betty Lehman from Isabella Geriatric Center talked about Isabella.
We celebrated the birthday for both months, and some received complimentary lunch coupons for the Nippon Club, which were donated by Special Happy Birthday Foundation. As always, participants enjoyed Japanese songs with Iwaki Band.

Happy Birthday in March

Mr. Nakano


  • Ms. Nobuko Nishikawa passed away on April 23rd, 2014, at the age of 86 .
  • Mr. Teijiro Kakutani passed away on January 12th, 2016. He was 87 years old. He enjoyed our keirokais with his wife Taeko. He Attended Keirokai in December. A family memorial was held on January 16th.
  • Ms. Noriko Imamura Prentice passed away from a heart attack on January 16th, at the age of 69.
  • Mr. Tsuguo Endo passed away on January 18th at the age of 82. He was a founder of the Endo Freight Forwarders and served as a board member of JAA from 1983-2007.
  • Ms. Michi Kobi (Kobinata) passed away on March 1st. She was 91 years old. Her memorial service will be held at JAA Hall on May 1st. We will have a tribute to her life in our next issue of JAA News.
    Our condolences and deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these members!

  • Renewal of Membership for 2015

    JAA membership renewal forms have been sent to you in January and 2nd request letter of renewal in April. We are organizing information of our members for emergency purposes and to upgrade our services. Kindly complete the renewal form if you have any changes; otherwise, please just return the form with your membership fee. Members’ information will be kept confidential. If you haven’t received your renewal form by now, please contact the JAA office.

    We have been sending JAA News and information updates via email. It’s much quicker and less costly than regular mail. If you would like to receive JAA Newsletter and other information by e-mail, please send your e-mail address to info@jaany.org

    2016 JAA Activities

    Regular scheduled events & programs
    ○Senior Luncheon: Twice a month 2nd & 4th Thursday
    ○Apple Kids (www.applekidsnyc.org) and
    ○Japanese Business Women’s Committee (www.bwcjaa.org)
    will have monthly events.

    Free Consultation & Service
    JAA provides free consultations by professionals for all the people in the community.

  • Free Consultation on Health and Social welfare
    on the days of senior luncheon

  • Free Legal Consultation on Wills and other topics
    by Helen Irie, Esq. and Reiko Takikawa, Esq.
    on 4th Thursday of odd Months

  • Free Legal Consultation (excluding Immigration law)
    by Reiko Kasano, Esq. on 2nd Thursday of even months

  • Free Legal Consultation on Immigration Law
    by Keiko Kato, Esq. Katsumi Miki, Esq. and Mami Terai, Esq.
    on 3rd Thursday of every month

  • Free Consultation on Affordable Care Act /Obama Care
    by Kumiko Seki and Takako Hara,
    Japanese Navigators on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday

  • Free Consultation on Tax (in February)
    by Joe Oshima, CPA

  • Free Hair Cut Service
    This volunteer service is donated by hairstylists Michi Tahara,
    Shunsuke Takahashi, Shige Kosuda, Nori Sasaki and Toshi Kubota
    on 2nd Monday each month.

    Schedule in 2016

    March 12 (Sat.) & 15 (Sun.): Japanese Language Spring Workshop
    April 2 (Sat.): Spring Flea Market
    April 8(Sat.)- April 30(Sat.): the 8th Sakura Health Fair
    April 23 (Sat.): the 12th Sakura Matsuri @ Flushing Meadows Corona Park
    April to August on Sunday mornings: the 31st JAA Foreign Minister’s Cup Baseball Tournament
    May 5 (Thurs.) to 14 (Sat.): the 21st Art Exhibition
    May 8 (Sun.): Japan Day @ Central Park – JAA will host a Calligraphy booth
    May 30 (Mon.): Memorial Day Services at Japanese Cemeteries at Mt Olivet Cemetery
    June 9 (Thurs.) : 46th JAA Scholarship Dinner
    Aug. 6 (Sat.): Summer Flea Market
    September 9 (Sat.) – October 2 (Sun.): the 10th Senior Week
    September 12 or 19 (Mon.): the 23rd Charity Golf Tournament at the Haworth C.C.
    Oct. 22 (Sat.): Japanese Language Fall Workshop
    Nov. 5 (Sat.): Annual Bazaar
    Nov. 17 (Thurs.): Thanksgiving Day Keirokai
    Dec. 2 (Fri.): the 109th JAA Gala Dinner
    Dec. 8 (Thurs.): End of the Year Keirokai
    Dec. 16 (Fri.): Holiday Party with Volunteers Thank You Party