March 16, 2018
The first meeting for the 2018 JBA Board of Directors was held, and all officers were approved.
This past March 16 at the Miyako Hybrid Hotel in Torrance, the 2017 JBA General Assembly meeting and the Asahi Gakuen General Assembly meeting was held. On this day, the General Assembly and the Officers meeting and Board of Directors meeting was held, after which, new officers were inducted and a reception was held.
The General Assembly began with the report of the activities by each of the committees in 2017. The main contents are as described below.
Business and Commerce Committee
1. Public Relations, 2. Exchange, 3. Deepening relationships, 4. The tasks of the Sub-committee’s chairman put into 4 activities. The activities of #1 are to support the promotion of Japanese American business at the World Trade Center of Los Angeles. In addition, this year, the 57th JBA Anniversary Reception was held as the largest event by JBA, which is committed to strengthening Japan and American relations. Graciously hosted at the Consul General’s residence, about 150, including government agencies, local organizations, and JBA members attended the event. In addition, in collaboration with JETRO Los Angeles, a "Survey on the Current Situation of Japanese Affiliates" as we attempted to grasp the needs of each company.
Planning and Marketing Committee
Activities aimed at providing specialized services for JBA members and enhancing their substance. In 2017, JBA held 10 business seminars in which 678 participants gathered. In January of 2018, approximately 500 people participated in the New Year’s Celebration. In addition, cross-industry exchange meetings were held three times where 220 people, members and non-members, were able to participate. Also, the JBA Newsletter, which was monochromatic, has been colorized to improve visibility and readability.
Education and Cultural Committee
The USEJ Program, which celebrated its 42nd year in 2017, sent 8 American educators to Japan. Deepening their understanding of Japan, the participants were able to experience first-hand visits to Japanese schools, observing demonstration lessons, homestay, and more in order to apply to American education system. The JEG Program that funds schools and classes that conduct activities related to Japanese language and culture was implemented as usual, with $27,000 distributed to 24 schools. In the Charity Golf Tournament, $81,000 were raised to fund educational activities.
Downtown Regional Committee
The activities of this committee were mainly focused on community events and history events of Japanese Americans. With the theme of 2017 as "Learn more and love more about LA," various activities such as a tour of the Manzanar National Historic Site, Hiking and Trash pick-up, JANM Visit, and participation in Nisei Closing Week were held. Other events also included activities such as a tour of Santa Barbara Wineries, Major League Baseball Tournament, Golf Tournament, and a Magic Castle Tour.
South Bay Regional Committee
15 events were held. In community service activities, a Beach Clean-Up and Volunteer Tree planting events were carried out. In addition, the Torrance Chamber of Commerce and JBA Business Exchange Mixer was held for the 18th year as the largest event of the committee. All members participated in services such as the annual and popular tour of the LA Harbor, Miramar Air Show, and Halloween Picnic.
Orange County Regional Committee
11 events were held, the biggest among them the OC Sports Festival, which was held on the borrowed grounds of Irvine High School and carried out like in the spirit of a Sports Festival in Japan. About 100 volunteers and 400 participants gathered. In addition, Irvine’s Local School Seminar series were carried out with the cooperation of the Irvine School District, of which the three seminars were "Advice from Local Schools," "Consultation meeting with local school teachers," and "Panel Discussion with students and guardians."
After the reports were made by each committee, the 2017 income and expenditure report was announced. With that, the 2017 JBA General Assembly ended without any incident. Next, the 2018 JBA Executive Board was appointed, and all 39 people approved. Next, the Asahi Gakuen General Assembly was held, and the Asahi Gakuen Board of Directors selected for 2018. Asahi Gakuen was a supplementary school founded in 1969 by JBA, and in 2017 had 1,420 students and 126 faculty and staff in Santa Monica, San Gabriel, Torrance and Orange County. Also, "Conversation over tea" was held twice led by the Principals and guardians and aim to be carried out 3 times in total over the school semester. Other than this, fundraising and donation activities has begun for the 50th Anniversary commemorative event for the founding of Asahi Gakuen.
After this, the first meeting for the 2018 JBA and Asahi Gakuen Board of Directors was held, and all officers of the new year were approved.
The reception was held at the patio after a series of meetings, and the second-time newly elected JBA President Okawa introduced the new officers. In addition to giving words of encouragement for the future, he gave words to send off former President Ishikawa. Ishikawa announced his resignation and return to Japan in the spring, and will continue his activities there.
Next, Consul General Chiba gave a standing greeting, thanking JBA for activities that contributed greatly to the local community, such as educational support and employment opportunities. Last, the director of JETRO Los Angeles Mr. Nishimoto gave a greeting, mentioning the history of JBA and honoring its achievement. He then gave a toast in a lively voice, and after that, the gathering continued peacefully.
Mr. Okawa presented a memorial shield to Mr. Ishikawa.
Consul General Chiba gave a speech, thanking JBA for activities that contributed to the local community, such as educational support and employment opportunities.