|Japan Disaster Relief
The following is a report from one of our board members, Shunichi Homma, M.D., who recently traveled to Tohoku. He visited on behalf of the Japanese Medical Society of America (JMSA), where Dr. Homma is also on the board and president of JAMSNET.
JMSA directly supports two mental health programs in the Tohoku area through grants given to JMSA from Japan Society. Each of these is a three-year program and is designed to work with local leaders in the development of outpatient type programs rather than an inpatient model. JMSA has also incorporated JAMSNET, Consortium for Japan Relief (CJR at Columbia University), Mount Sinai, and JAMSNET Tokyo activities to support the programs in Tohoku. I recently visited the programs in Fukushima and Iwate to assess the progress of the funded programs and to assess the plans for the future.
The first one is in Soma-city in Fukushima Prefecture. Here, we work with Dr. Shinichi Niwa’s group from Fukushima University. As it enters the second year of funding, the clinic building has been opened and 12 staff members are now working in this building, with visits to temporary housing and other households taking place. The outpatient clinic is now fully functional with the hiring of several psychiatrists including a clinic director Dr. Aritsuka from Okinawa who has specialized in PTSD of those affected by the WW2 battle in Okinawa. In addition to discussions regarding immediate operational issues, much of my discussion with Dr. Niwa focused on the plan for self-sustainability after the funding ends. Plans which will be transferrable to other such mental health models included incorporation of fee-producing activities through working relationships with local municipalities, insurance reimbursement activities through working relationships with licensed MD’s, and change of the current NPO status to become a tax deductible (for contributions) entity, a rare entity in Japan.
The second program, headed by Dr. Mitsuru Suzuki is designed to provide outpatient mental health support at Otsuchi-machi, an area that basically disappeared after the 3/11 disaster. Since no infrastructure existed, progress is somewhat lagging behind that of Soma. NPO has been established and mental health workers have been hired and office space established. Here, there is an extensive use of remote teleconferences to access difficult to reach areas. Translation of a disaster psychiatry text book from English to Japanese is another project within this program. In addition to self-sustainability issues, the maintenance of staff enthusiasm, and avoidance of staff burn-outs were the main issues discussed. Linkages to the local NPO’s to form a strong support basis, not only for mental health care, but for social support networking and relationship building with other entities vested in mental health issues are important topics. Understanding of local relationships to make sure that our plans do not conflict with other programs is critically important. To this effect with Dr. Suzuki, I visited Iwate Medical University which has received much funding for mental health programs in the rest of Iwate prefecture. Dr. Ogawa (head of the University), Dr. Suzuki, and I discussed the coordination of programs and mutual collaboration.
Linking of these two-programs by like-minded leaders is very important. As such, this Fall, a symposium is planned to bring know-hows of these programs together, along with coordination of activities by other NPO’s and hopefully government agencies to figure out the collaborative, and efficient paths to achieve the goals that meet the actual needs. Along with these programs, JAMSNET is now actively engaged in programs to alleviate mental health stress amongst younger school aged children in Fukushima (Ms. K. Barnes). We are looking to integrate this aspect of JAMSNET activities to the currently adult focused programs being funded, and discussion to this effect took place during my visit.
For the first time, in still a ravaged seaside dock, I saw fishes unloaded for commercial use with fisherman engaged so intently in what they must have done for decades before 3/11. Through all we do, I realized that in a way, this is a very large part of what we are all trying to achieve, to assist in bringing back the security and normalcy that had been so arbitrarily taken away.
To be continued in the next issues of JAA News.
Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund
We raised $36,156.00 for Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund. The Committee decided to make two donations: (Ⅰ) to Asian Americans for Equality in the amount of $5,000 and (Ⅱ) to New York Cares in the amount of $25,000.
A presentation of the donation from Mr. Moriwaki of JAA to Ms. Anne Corry of New York Cares was held on June 20 at JAA Hall. Their support of victims of Hurricanes include filling out documents for government assistance and/or insurances claims, emergency support after disaster and volunteer work at hurricanes sites.
Annual JAA Scholarship Dinner of the 43rd Scholarship Awards and
We had a great awards dinner on June 6, 2013 at the Harvard Club with George Packard, President of the US Japan Foundation as keynote speaker (emphasizing the importance of individual people to people connections) and special guests Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the US – Japan Council (widow of Senator Daniel Inouye) and Mme. Yukiko Nishimiya (widow of Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya).
The ceremony began with a welcome from MC Mr. Satoru Murase, chair of the Scholarship Committee, followed by greetings from JAA President Gary S. Moriwaki and Ambassador Hiroki.
More than 130 guests celebrated this year’s awardees. Thirteen high school recipients (total of $57,000.00 and two tickets round–trip to Japan by ANA) of the 43rd JAA Scholarship Awards and five graduate school recipients (total of 2400000 EN from the Honjo International Foundation) of the 7th Honjo Scholarship Awards were honored.
Mr. Isao Alessandro Anzai, recipient of Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya Scholarship and Mr. Daiyu Suzuki, recipient of the Honjo Award expressed their appreciation for their respective groups.
To conclude the ceremony, Mr. Satoru Murase thanked the donors and guests.
Scholarship Dinner Benefactors
The Scholarship Committee consisted of Chair Satoru Murase, and the committee members are Julie Azuma*, Michiko Ito Crampe, David Hiromura, Makoto Iwahara, Frederick Katayama, Gary S. Moriwaki*, Susan J. Onuma*, Joe Oshima*, Koji Sato, Suki Terada Ports and Katsuo Takeda*. *members of Honjo Scholarship Sub-Committee
43rd JAA Scholarship (for graduating high school students)
2.Bingham McCutchen Murase Scholarship
3.Mitsui USA Foundation Scholarship ($5,000)
4.Mitsui USA Foundation Scholarship ($5,000)
5.Mitsui USA Foundation Scholarship ($5,000)
6.Dr. Soji Tomikawa Scholarship ($5,000)
7.Dr. Soji Tomikawa Scholarship ($5,000)
8.Orient Corp. of America Scholarship ($3,500)
9.Miyoko & John Davey Scholarship ($3,000)
10.Hartman-Sakazume Scholarship ($3,000)
11.Toyota Motor North America Scholarship ($3,000)
12.TV Japan Scholarship ($2,500)
7th JAA-Honjo Scholarship Awards (for graduate students)
Daiyu Suzuki (600,000 Yen)
Noriaki Hoshino (600,000 Yen)
Hayang "Yumi" Kim (400,000 Yen)
Ariel Acosta (400,000 Yen)
Kristopher Reeves (400,000 Yen)
A bio of Dr. Packard and a list of Awardees are on page 5. Dr. Packard’s speech is at www.jaany.org/generalscholarship.html
Honorable George R. Packard
George R. Packard has been President of the United States-Japan Foundation since July 1998. A private and independent grant-making organization with $83 million in assets, the Foundation is committed to promoting stronger ties between the US and Japan through greater mutual knowledge and understanding, to increasing broad awareness of important public policy issues, and to addressing common concerns in the Asia-Pacific region. He is also Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. Dr. Packard is also Chairman of the Advisory Board at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University.
|Exhibition of Japanese and Japanese American Artists
in New York 2013
Opening reception of the 18th annual Art Exhibition of the Japanese and Japanese American Artists in New York were held on May 2, 2013 with 150 guests including Amb. Shigeyuki Hiroki and artists. The reception was conducted by Mrs. Eiko Aono. The attendees enjoyed unique international art works.
JAA greatly appreciated those who bought arts pieces of which a donation was made to JAA: Ms. Kumiko Baumann, Ms. Carol Gonzales, Ms. Yasuko Kawamura, Ms. Mari Morimoto, Mr. Hajimu Nanahara, Mrs. Nobuko Sakurai, Ms. Yayoi Saito Ms. Yoko Sasaki and Ms. Matsuko Shibuya.
|Memorial Day Ceremony at the Japanese Cemetery
in Mt. Olivet Cemetery
On a beautiful sunny day, Memorial Day Services (Bosankai) were started from 11 AM on May 27, 2013 at the Japanese Cemetery at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Queens. This year marks 101 years of the Services. The event was conducted by JAA Vice President, Katsuo Takeda.
First, Rev. Shobo Gary Jaskula of the Buddhist Church, read from the Sutra while incense and flowers were offered to the pioneers who had contributed so greatly to the present standing of the Japanese and Japanese American Community, followed by services performed by Rev. Jun Yoshimatsu, JAUC.
Ambassador Hiroki expressed his appreciation to our pioneers who had promoted good relations between the U.S. and Japan. Mr. Yasuyuki Uchino, Principal of Greenwich Japanese School of NY and Mr. Toru Okamoto, Principal of the Japanese Children’s Society each gave a heartfelt talk. MIS member Mr. Kazu Yamaguchi and Vietnam veteran Mr. Stanley Kanzaki attended. A total of 150 people attended.
Wreathes were offered by the Consulate General of Japan in New York, Nippon Club, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New York, Japanese Lions Club and three organizers of JAA, JAUC and NY Buddhist Church.
|JAA Committee on Aging Issues
The 5th Sakura Health Fair at JAA was deemed a huge success. Over 50 programs for all ages had about 1600 participants. 7th Senior Week will be held from September 13 to September 29 at JAA Hall for all ages. Many events will be scheduled.
JAA Business Women’s Committee
May 13 Monthly Meeting: Mr. Yoshikatsu Takeda, president of Miki House of America and Mr. Hiroshi Yamaguchi, vice president of Wacoal Sport Science gave a talk on "How to market Japanese Brands in the United States"
June 10 Monthly Meeting: Miki Ebara, Chief Correspondent, NHK News talked about how her life and career were effected by her studying in the USA. Both events were fully attended.
|Social Service Committee
Keirokai-Luncheon for Seniors
The JAA Chorus group will sing songs for our seniors on June 27. At all the events the K. Iwaki Band performed and members enjoyed Karaoke sing along. All seniors have enjoyed the luncheon and to chat with friends.
JAA Apple Kids (new families group)
Dr. Seiichi Shimomura passed away on April 28 at his home in New Jersey at the age of 92.
Seiichi was born in Seattle, Washington on April 15, 1921. He returned to Japan in 1935 with his family and studied and worked at the Japanese Naval Hospital during WWⅡ. After WWⅡ, he received a GARIOA (precursor of the Fulbright Scholarship) to study at the Cornell Division of Bellevue Hospital from 1950-51. He obtained a medical license in New York and worked at St. Luke’s Hospital for 35 years!
After retiring in 1992, Seiichi volunteered at JAA where he was a vice president and on the Board Directors as well as spending many hours offering free medical advice and editing JAA News.
A memorial gathering was held on May 25 at JAA Hall with his wife Alice, his son Mathew, family members and many friends.
|Memorial gathering of the late Mr. Shigeru Inagaki
At both memorial gatherings, Mr. Toshio Kiso gave a greeting on behalf of JAA.
Thank you very
much for your support of JAA !
To Sakura Matsuri
To General Account
To JAA Committee on Aging Issues
Report from Membership Committee As 6/20, 2013
To 43 JAA Scholarship
Donors to Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya Scholarship Fund