History of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai‘i
The Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai‘i has a long history of promoting business and Japanese values since its establishment on June 23, 1950. The formation of the current organization was due to the vision of leaders of both the Hilo Civic Association and the Hilo Japanese Chamber of Commerce. Following World War II, these two organizations served the East Hawai‘i Japanese community with similar intents and purposes. Many of its members held membership in both organizations and there was a duplication of many of its functions. Leaders of both associations realized that the current situation was taxing on resources and felt that further discussion on how best to serve the community was needed.
On March 16, 1950, a committee comprised of members of both the Hilo Civic Association and the Hilo Japanese Chamber of Commerce met. It was determined that a single entity was desirable and over the next several months led by its chairman, Mr. Susumu Yamashita, they worked diligently to prepare for the potential merger of both organizations.
On June 23, 1950, an organizational meeting was held in which there was unanimous support for a new Chamber. Led by temporary president, Dr. Sadaichi Kasamoto, the ensuing membership drive proved hugely successful as the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai‘i soon reached 353 members. On September 28, 1950, it held its first general membership meeting. With 135 members present, the temporary By-Laws were approved and officers were officially elected and installed.
In 1974 the majority of the international affairs activities of the Reception Committee was turned over to the newly organized Hawai‘i Island Japanese Community Association. This corporation was organized to encourage, promote and implement programs and activities for the welfare and betterment of the community: to promote and preserve Japanese culture: and to foster harmony and fellowship within the membership in the County of Hawai‘i. The corporation formally changed its name to the Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i. Most of the Past Presidents of this organization have served as an officer of the JCCIH. Cultural programs include Kodomo no Hi, Childrens' Day Festival, Japanese Culture Day and other cultural events.'
Since then, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawai‘i continues its work towards fostering economic sustainability as well as perpetuating the Japanese cultural heritage and traditions in Hawai‘i. JCCIH is committed to both its members and community by sponsoring such events as: A Taste of Hilo; the Annual Golf Classic Tournament; International Festival of the Pacific; and Goji Kara.
To promote the well-being of our community through business and personal relationships that embody the values of Kahiau & Okage Sama De
Kahiau (Hawaiian word) – Giving without expecting anything in return.
Okage Sama De (Japanese Proverb) – I am what I am because of you.
Purposes, Goals & Objectives
- Inform and educate its members and the Hawai‘i Island community by stimulating interest and participating in civic activities.
- Promote the general welfare of Hilo, Hawai‘i Island, and the State of Hawai‘i.
- Be a political and social force in the community.
- Assist in the passage of laws and ordinances beneficial to business and our community.
- Encourage business, such as foreign trade and industry, agriculture, and tourism, that will promote economic growth, attract new business, and entertain visitors.
- To perpetuate the Japanese cultural heritage and traditions in Hawai‘i.