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JAA President Gary Moriwaki presented
a donation
to JOICPF Executive Director Sumie Ishii

JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund
Report from President Gary S. Moriwaki

On September 30, 2011, just about six months after the earthquake
and tsunami disasters affected the Tohoku region of Japan, we
had the opportunity to again visit Ishinomaki, accompanied by
volunteers from Peace Boat and Church World Services. After presenting
a ceremonial check for $125,000, we were able to visit a couple
of the town’s business districts, the Peace Boat center of operations,
and the still devastated areas along the coast. The business districts
were much improved since our last visit at the end of May. The
streets were clean, free of sludge and debris, and newly repaved.
Many stores had new signage and were open for business. However,
many businesses were still boarded up, and even the ones that
were open did not have many customers, other than the volunteers
who worked in the area. The situation along the coast is still
pretty bad. There were huge mountains of debris, some more than
100 feet high. One of those mountains had four levels, each level
with its own bulldozer. Factories and homes were in disrepair;
and many residents are living in temporary shelters. However,
there were some signs of hope.

We visited Takahashi Tokuji Shoten, Inc., a fish processing plant
founded in 1905. It is a very large plant with five very sophisticated
fish processing machines that work at 196 C, using liquid nitrogen.
Peace Boat volunteers began cleaning the 20 cm deep layer of sludge
in the plant starting March 17, and have just finished cleaning
the machinery, which now needs repair (at a cost of $2.5 million).
The plant was literally under water, with sea water reaching up
to the top of the four story building. The local residents were
at first wary and skeptical of the volunteers, but through their
hard work and engaging personalities, the volunteers were able
to establish a bond of trust and ended up providing psycho social
support as well. The volunteers eventually convinced the owner
of the plant, Mr. Hideo Takahashi, to rebuild. At first he just
wanted to walk away as the devastation was so great. While we
were at the factory, we ran into Mr. Takahashi. He said that one
machine was ready to go and that on Oct 1 they were having a re-opening
ceremony that would put 20 people back to work. There were 75
workers pre 3/11. One of the workers is his second son, who left
his job and girlfriend in Tokyo to rejoin his Dad. We watched
as Takahashi, in tears, thanked the Peace Boat volunteers. So
this story has it all: devastation and rebuilding, recognition
and respect for local customs and concerns, revitalization on
and hope, cooperation between private and civil sectors, financing
and job creation.

In Tokyo, the situation seems pretty normal. Escalators are running,
the streets and stores are fully lighted, and it is pretty much
business as usual. While in Tokyo, we visited with a number of
NGOs and NPOs. At JOICFP (Japanese Organization for International
Cooperation in Family Planning), we had a ceremonial presenting
of a check for $125,000. The major concerns of JOICFP as expressed
by the managing director, Sumie Ishii, were: (1) JOICFP was having
difficulty tracking down and reaching out to the population of
women who are pregnant or have recently given birth who became
dispersed since 3/11, (2) mental health issues,(3) radiation concerns
and (4) upgrading their website.

At JSK (Jidaino Souzou Koubo), we met with Akizawasan, the founder,
who received our ceremonial check. A new initiative was described,
which is to send 50-100 kids from Tohoku to the USA for respite.

At ETIC (Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities,,
we had interesting discussions with their young leaders. They
want to send interns and fellows to the Tohoku region for the
purpose of incubating new businesses and to encourage young people
to either return to Tohoku or to set up shop there.

Along these lines, we also had the occasion to meet with Henry
Takata, who is on the Asian Board of All Hands, a US NPO based
in Massachusetts with volunteers working on the ground in Tohoku.
Going forward, their focus is also economic revitalization. Proposed
projects include rebuilding a fishing port in Ofunato, financing
fishing boats, and repairing fish processing plants.

Report from Mr. Eiichi Kuwana on 9/12/2011

This past weekend not only marked the 10th Anniversary of the
9/11 attacks but also the six month period after the earthquake
and tsunami in Japan. I revisited the same locales that I went
to in May to see first-hand what progress had been made over the
past four months. At least on the surface, some progress is evident,
with debris having been taken away to central locations in and
around the devastated towns and cities. The Japanese news-paper
Nikkei, reports however, that only a little more than 50% of the
total debris has been removed, and the pace of the removal will
slow down as available land to store and process the debris becomes
more scarce in Japan.

To make this more clear, I have attached "before and after"
photos of the same areas.
See website of Peace Boat below,
The now famous emergency headquarters of Minami- Sanriku is a
shrine for the scores of municipal workers who were convening
a meeting to deal with the earth- quake damage and were subsequently
swept away to their death. The tented area for volunteer organized
food offerings in May is now clear of most debris. However, the
progress in the area is only skin deep.
I spent some time with elderly fishermen and their families in
the Minami Sanriku area. When asked about their most urgent need,
all of them were unanimous – jobs. Creating employment in this
region is the only long-term viable solution to attain self-sustaining
economic growth. This need is gender and age blind; it is a common
thread for all who live in the area, many of whom are elderly,
as in the attached photos, and have the energy and desire to remain
productive members of society.

We will do our best in supporting NPO and NGO organizations that
foster entrepreneurship and creation of jobs with the funds that
many of you have generously donated.

Thank you for JAA’s continued support and interest in helping
the victims in Japan.

With gratitude,
Eiichi Kuwana

United Nations International School (UNIS)

President Ms. Hazue Tamura Rogers (right)

JAA continues to receive donations, the most recent being
from the following organizations and individuals: $1,000.00 from
the United Nations International School (UNIS); $4,700.00 from
the fund raising event, "HOPE", a Sake Tasting for Japan
Disaster Recovery held at Matsuri Restaurant which was sponsored
by Wine of Japan Import President, Mr. Mitsumasa Takeda; $3,500.00
from Ikebana International, President Ms. Hazue Tamura Rogers;
$2,227.00 from Greenville Elementary School; $1,050.00 from RAKUGO
Kai, led by Mr. Hideki Yamauchi. JAA appreciates these thoughtful
and generous gifts. Thank you very much.
We continue to perform our due diligence and are investigating
NGOs in the Tohoku region that focus on the needs of the elderly
as well as mental health issues.

Senior Day

Helen Irie and Reiko Takikawa Esq. on Planning Documents

Report of the 5th Senior Week

The 5th Annual Senior Week was held from September 15th to September
25th, 2011 at JAA Hall. This event was developed by the JAA Committee
on Aging Issues and co-sponsored by JAMSNET (Japanese Medical
Support Network) with support from the Consulate General of Japan
in New York.

Our sincere thanks go to the Consulate General of Japan, JAMSNET
and all of the service providers for their participation and support
of Senior Week. Due to the diversity of our participating lecturers
and workshop leaders, Senior Week was a huge success. The response
from those who attended was very enthusiastic and positive. Over
50 programs and 1,400 persons from the Japanese and Japanese American
community attended and many came to more than one event.

On September 15th coinciding with Senior Day in Japan, Ambassador
Shigeyuki Hiroki and JAA Honorary President, Susan J. Onuma brought
warm greetings to over 120 seniors at the Senior Luncheon held
at JAA Hall. To honor our seniors and to wish them good health
and happiness, the luncheon was a dish that is traditionally served
at celebrations in Japan. Madame Mamiko Hiroki presented flowers
with a special message to seniors who are over 88 years old, including
Mr. Haruo Ito who celebrated his 99th birthday this year.

Attorneys Ms. Helen Irie and Ms. Reiko Takikawa spoke on, "Basics
of Planning Documents, Medicare and Medicaid". All attendees
enjoyed the K. Iwaki Band with Karaoke.

Due to the enthusiastic participation of numerous service providers,
a variety of seminars and workshops were held on health and other
issues including but not limited to, Tips on Administering Assets/Getting
Them in Order, by Susan J. Onuma. Esq. and Gift and Inheritance
Tax for 2011 and 12 by Mr. Joe Oshima, Japanese Welfare in Japan,
by Consul Kentaro Ando. Professor Yoichi Sakakibara spoke and
provided consultations on the Development of Children, Professor
Iwasaki spoke on Interracial /International Marriages and the
Japanese Medical Society had group consultations on medical matters
and a tour of senior housing at Isabella House. Also held were
workshops on activities to encourage enjoyment of daily living
and good health such as calligraphy, chorus, yoga, taichi, and

Medical Consultation
by Dr. Makoto Iwahara

Thyroid Disease
by Dr. Yanagisawa

Report on Japan Disaster
by Dr. Kamal Ramani

Social Worker’s role
by Social Worker Yuko Naka

Inheritance Tax for 2011 and 12
by Mr. Joe Oshima

Calligraphy lesson
by Ms. Fusako Otsubo

Walking lesson
by Ms. Mayumi Tobii

Free Hair Cut service
by Ms. Michi Tahara

(L to R) Mr. Fujiki and Mr. Fujiwara

The 18th JAA Charity Golf Tournament

Our Annual Charity Golf Tournament was held on October 17, 2011
at Knoll Country Club in NJ with 92 eager players. At 12:15pm,
the tournament started under the new Peoria Rules, and ended by
5:30pm. Mr. Masato Fujiwara won the tournament.

JAA President Gary S. Moriwaki and Mr. Satoshi Fujiki, Senior
Vice President, the Americas of ANA gave greetings. Mr. Moriwaki
appreciated ANA for their continuing strong support of JAA’s golf
tournament and our golfers. While dinner was being served, the
raffle drawing was held with 40 prize winners. Mr. Yuji Saito
won the Grand Prize, an ANA Roundtrip Ticket to Japan and Mr.
Tatsuya Yamamoto won the First Prize of a SONY 32" LCD Flat

The tournament results were then announced with the following
prize winners:
Champion: Masato Fujihara Trophy Cup and Business ?class
ticket from ANA NY/Tokyo round-trip
2nd Prize: Haruo Iimura
3rd Prize: Frank Hayakawa
Best Gross: Tatsuya Yamamoto (men), M. Abe (women)

The Raffle raised $4,500.00. Unfortunately, no one won the Hole
in One Award cash of $10,000 at four holes. Donations to this
Tournament received from individuals and corporations are listed
in the Japanese section.

Members of the Golf Committee are: David Hiromura, Michi Tahara
(Co-chairs), Kiyoshi Egawa,
Kazuhisa Enokida, Keiko Ishida, Sho Suzuki and Tatsuya Yamamoto

JAA Foreign Minister Cup Baseball Games
JUNKS win! It is their 5th championship

The Championship Game was held on Sunday, September 11th, at Randall?s
Island. Junks beat out Jokers, 2 to 0, capturing the Foreign Minister
Cup for this year. This became their 5th victory of the JAA Baseball
Games! An Awards Presentation and Closing Ceremony followed the
Games with Deputy Consul General Yasuhisa Kawamura of Consulate
General of Japan and Mr. Katsuo Takeda, Vice President of JAA
and Mr. David Hiromura, director of JAA presenting the awards
to the Champions and the other winners.

The following awards were presented:
Champion: Junks, 2nd Place: NY Jokers,
3rd Place: Boko Boko and in 4th Place: NY Silvers
MVP & Best Pitcher (6W): Keita Kawashima (Junks)
Most Home runs (2H): Takuto Koga (SSG)
Most RBI (8): Yuya Yamaguchi (ORG),
Takuya Ruike (ORG), and Akio Omine(SIL)
JAA Sprit: Kamal Ramani (Rad)

It was a great season. Our committee members were Mr. Shunji Kato,
Honorary Chairman of JAA Baseball, Mr. Shunsuke Takahashi and
Mr. Kasei.

to all of the JAA Volunteers!

To acknowledge their services, JAA Vice President, Mr. Katsumi
Oneda invited JAA volunteers to the Dovetail Restaurant, 103 W
77th Street on September 22nd. 21 JAA volunteers enjoyed the delicious

Grand Bazaar:
On Saturday November 5 at 10am.

A Special Night for Friends and Supporters
of JAA:

We will have a special fundraiser on November 16 at the SONY Club
to raise much needed funds for the future of JAA. This year, our
guest artist is Jake Shimabukuro.

Annual Year End Dance: On
December 2 (Fri.) at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Hotel.

Social Service

Oct. 6th, First Keirokai in October:Lunch Menu was: chicken,
eggs and string beans-over- rice and ice cream. After lunch, Artist
from Japan, Mr. Kankyu Okamoto spoke on his art. Entertainment
was Karaoke with K. Iwaki Band.

Oct. 20 (Thurs.) "Second Keirokai in Oct." :Lunch
menu: rice with mushrooms and chicken and coffee jelly. After
lunch, Mr. Reona Ito spoke on anecdotes of Classical Music and
group enjoyed Karaoke with K. Iwaki Band.


  • Suki Terada Ports’ organization retirement party was held
    on September 29th at JAA Hall. Former Mayor David Dinkins and
    over 150 family and friends packed the JAA Hall for the celebration.
    We realized Suki’s powerful commitment to the New York community
    not only among Asians.

  • JAA received an Award on October 3rd for its very prolific
    charitable work to improve the welfare of the Japanese Americans
    at Isabella and also throughout New York City at their "Raise
    the Roof Gala."

  • Donation to

    Aya Kuwayama $10,000
    Tsuneko Mitsunaka $10,000

    Corporate Membership as 10/27/11 *
    Brother Int’l Corp.
    Canon USA, Inc.
    EISAI USA Foundation
    Ito En (North America), Inc.
    JFC Int’l Inc.
    Mitsui & Co., (U.S.A.), Inc.
    Orient Corp. of America Pasona N.A.
    Sojitz Corp. of America
    Sumitomo Corp. of America Foundation
    Toshiba America, Inc.
    The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

    you very much!


    Mrs. Mitsuko Takami Kurahara passed away on September 4th
    at age 89. She was the last daughter of Dr. Toyohiko Takami who
    founded Japanese Mutual Aid Society (Nihonjin Kyousaikai) which
    was JAA’s original organization. A Memorial service was held at
    St. John’s Episcopal Church in Huntington.

    Mr. Toshimitsu Mitsunaka, husband of Mrs. Tsuneko Mitsunaka
    JAA Vice President & Sakura Shoji) passed away on September
    5 at Calvary Hospital at age 67.

    Ms. Minako Noma passed away on September 13th at Ridgewood
    Center Nursing Home at age 94.

    Mr. George K. Yuzawa passed away at Isabella at age 96.
    He had been very active in our community. We will have a "Celebration
    of Mr. George Yuzawa’s Life" on November 27th at the JAA

    We pray for all of them and their family.

    Loving Memory of
    Mitsuko Takami Kurahara
    July 15, 1922 – September 4, 2011

    Mitsuko Takami was born on July 15th, 1922 to Dr. Toyohiko Campbell
    Takami and Sona Oguri Takami. Growing up in Brooklyn and in Laurel
    Hollow, she was one of six Takami children. Mitsu was the last
    surviving member of her immediate family.

    As a child and teenager, she attended the Quaker Friends School
    in Brooklyn, New York where she excelled both scholastically and
    athletically. Her love of sports endured, although she switched
    her allegiance from The Brooklyn Dodgers to The New York Yankees
    when the Dodgers left New York! She went on to attend Goucher
    College in Maryland and graduated in 1943. After briefly attending
    Pratt Art School in New York City, Mitsu opted to spend time at
    home when her beloved father fell ill. It was an enduring regret
    that her father, who worked so hard to promote cross-cultural
    understanding between America and Japan, did not live to see the
    end of World War II.

    Mitsu worked as a research lab assistant at Columbia University
    for three years before meeting and marrying Roy Teruo Kurahara
    on August 7, 1948. They had four children: Wendy Sona, Mark Teruo,
    Scott Toyohiko, and Julie Mitsuko. Scott died tragically in childhood.
    Mitsu?s mother Sona and her husband Roy both died suddenly in
    1968, only four days apart.

    Returning to work, Mitsu decided to enter her late husband’s profession
    of social work. She was employed by St. Mary of the Angel’s Home
    in Syosset, where she worked full time while attending graduate
    school at night. Rising to the position of Associate Director
    of Child Care, she loved her work, her coworkers and the boys
    she was able to help and guide through the 25 years she worked
    at St. Mary’s.

    After her retirement, she went to work at Book Revue where she
    learned new computer skills, met many celebrity authors, and enjoyed
    interacting with all her coworkers. She was loved by most everyone
    who knew her.

    Mitsu was vivacious, fun-loving, and possessed a childlike sense
    of wonder. She had an infectious laugh and joy of life that made
    all around her smile.

    Without her, the world will be a less colorful place.