Japan Business Association of Southern California
1411 West 190th St, Suite 220
Gardena, California 90248
Telephone: (310) 515-9522
2019 Board of Directors
- Hironori KobayashiAll Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.
- Tetsuya TsutsuiAmerican Honda Motor Co., Inc.
- Shinji NishimuraDENSO Products and Services Americas, Inc.
- Hiromu KoyamaEpson America, Inc.
- Michitaka SugawaraFujitsu Frontech North America, Inc.
- Toshihide KotakeH.I.S. International Tours (NY) Inc.
- Masanao OnoHonyaku USA Inc.
- Kiichi NakajimaJapan Airlines Co., Ltd.
- Naohiro TakahashiJFC International Inc.
- Yoshiyuki FutamiJTB Americas, Ltd.
- Akinori MizunoKamei North America Co., Ltd.
- Yuichi YamakawaKintetsu Enterprises Company of America
- Kae SamKintetsu International Express (U.S.A.), Inc.
- Fumihiko KusakabeManufacturers Bank
- Tomoya IchinoseMazda North American Operations
- Jun IidaMikuni American Corporation
- Takuya KawasawaMitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
- Keijiro HoraMitsubishi Electric US, Inc.
- Tatsuo SatoMitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
- Takashi ShiroyamaMitsui Sumitomo Marine Management (U.S.A.), Inc.
- Kingo SakashitaMizuho Bank, Ltd.,
- Yuichi MitsumoriMUFG Union Bank, N. A.
- Yukihiro MurataNippon Express U.S.A., Inc.
- Hisashi SakagamiNippon Life Insurance Company of America
- Akihiro EndoPacific Guardian Life Insurance Company, Ltd.
- Kazuki KawakamiPanasonic Corporation of North America
- Chotaro KoumiPentel of America, Ltd.
- Takashi SugitaRelo Redac, Inc.
- Harumasa YabukiSoftBank Telecom America Corp.
- Satoshi OkawaSumitomo Corporation of Americas
- Masato MorimotoSumitomo Electric U.S.A., Inc.
- Satoshi FuruyaTokio Marine America
- Yuki IkehataToyo Tire Holdings of Americas, Inc.
- Ryota MasumoYamato Transport U.S.A., Inc.
Kiichi NakajimaJapan Airlines Co., Ltd.
Executive Vice President and Secretary
Saburo ItoErnst & Young LLP
Chair of the Business and Commerce Committee
Shinichi YoshinoKPMG LLP
Chair of the Planning and Marketing Committee
Akinori MizunoKamei North America Co., Ltd.
Chair of the Education and Cultural Committee
Satoshi FuruyaTokio Marine America
Chair of the Asahi Gakuen Committee
Masanao OnoHonyaku USA Inc.
Chair of the Downtown Regional Committee
Toshihide KotakeH.I.S. INTERNATIONAL TOURS (NY) INC.
Chair of the South Bay Regional Committee
Keita MurakiNippon Express U.S.A., Inc.
Chair of the Orange County Regional Committee
Osamu YokookaSuzuki Motor of America, Inc.
Business and Commerce CommitteeChair: Shinichi Yoshino
A large number of the world’s leading Japanese companies are clustered in Southern California. According to a 2018 survey, there are 790 Japanese companies based in the area. While these companies are already making great contributions to the local economy through their capital investments and job creation, it’s important that they keep working towards garnering understanding and support from state and local governments as well as affiliated economic organizations in order to coexist with the local community and to improve the business environment of Japanese companies. Our goal is to deepen and further develop these relations and to contribute as much as possible to our member companies.
In 2018, we deepened existing ties with local organizations such as the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA), U.S. – Japan Council, and Japan America Society, as well as confirmed our synergy with the Consulate General of Japan and JETRO. We also cultivated new relationships with government agencies including the State and municipalities. Specific details of activities for this fiscal year include: 1) strengthening relations and collaborating in areas such as information dissemination with local government agencies in the State of California, LA and Orange Counties; 2) closer mutual cooperation with the American, Asian American, and Latin American communities; 3) focusing on strengthening two-way cooperation with the Japanese American community. Through these efforts, we strive to “obtain proper evaluation on the contribution of Japanese companies to the local community,” “expand the presence of Japan and Japanese companies,” and “create business opportunities for member companies.”
Planning and Marketing CommitteeChair: Akinori Mizuno
The Planning and Marketing Committee’s mission is to promote the exchange and satisfaction among JBA members and is responsible for the planning and execution of social events for members as well as information dissemination.
Our main activities include the planning and execution of the annual New Year’s Greetings Reception, business seminars, softball tournament between member companies, volunteering at the LA Marathon’s water stations, and networking events, as well as the monthly publication of the “JBA News” newsletter. Although it sounds so formal when put in writing, we are basically the committee for anything “festival”-related, thus we aim to plan and deliver a wonderful festival for everyone again this year.
Last year, we held 8 business seminars aimed at providing useful information in which a total of 582 members attended. At the annual softball tournament, we experimented by changing the rules so that both the winners and losers could advance to the next round. We plan on incorporating new ideas and innovation in order to further evolve our regular events, and continue our efforts in event-planning as well as the preparation of “JBA News.” We ask you for your support and cooperation with the Planning and Marketing Committee this year. Please actively participate in our events, and new committee members are always welcome!
Education and Cultural CommitteeChair: Satoshi Furuya
The Education and Culture Committee aims to “contribute to the local economy,” “support youth education,” and “expand the understanding of Japan” through various support related to education & culture.
The main activities include the planning of a program to send US educators to Japan (US Educators to Japan, or USEJ), support for Japanese language and cultural education programs (Japan Enrichment Grant, or JEG), and youth education seminars. On the cultural front, the committee strives to increase the number of Japan-fans by supporting the introduction of Japanese culture.
Further, in order to secure the financial resources to continue these activities, our committee also operates the JBA Foundation. As part of this, we are planning and managing charity events, including the annual JBA Foundation Charity Golf Tournament. This year’s golf tournament is scheduled for July 20th at the Tustin Ranch Golf Club. This charity event is an important activity with the purpose of strengthening exchanges between JBA member companies and the local educational community and cultural groups, as well as improving the educational environment for Japanese children. We kindly ask for everyone’s support and cooperation again this year.
Downtown Regional CommitteeChair: Toshihide Kotake
Downtown Regional Committee operates around the Downtown Little Tokyo district, where the new and old LA coexist. We are planning various events for JBA member companies to get to know LA better, as well as events aimed at giving back to those companies contributing to Japanese society.
The main events this year include the 9th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage Bus Tour (held in April), the 8th annual trash pick-up hiking volunteer day that initially started after the Great East Japan Earthquake, participating in the Nisei Week Bon Odori and Parade. We are also planning to attend college football and major league baseball games, Genesis Open Golf, as well as to schedule bus tours to the LA area.
We welcome all JBA members to actively participate.
South Bay Regional CommitteeChair: Keita Muraki
The South Bay Regional Committee is comprised of companies operating in the South Bay region. Our goal is to contribute to this region where about 200 JBA member companies belong and to provide various services to JBA members. In 2018, we had our annual community service beach clean-up and volunteer work and picnic at the botanical garden. As for member services, 125 people participated in the annual Halloween Picnic, a popular event every year.
In 2019 we will continue implementing even more diverse and meaningful events that many can participate in. We will work under the motto “contribute to the South Bay region and JBA members through fun and fulfilling activities,” so we ask for all your support.
Orange County Regional CommitteeChair: Osamu Yokooka
Orange County Regional Committee aims to have every member enjoy the activities of the committee and promotes the further exchange with other companies, all while basing operations on the three pillars of JBA’s mission: strengthening relations with the local community, education and culture, and member services.
We are planning 13 events in 2019. All of our events are so popular that they fill up right away and it is reassuring that our committee members are so enthusiastic about our operation. Our member services include a sports day with 450 participants, enjoyed by both children and adults alike, an Angels game where we can anticipate to see Shohei Ohtani in action. For education and culture, we plan to hold a local school seminar with a panel of local teachers and students. As for community services, we will volunteer at an animal care facility that takes care of dogs and cats that have lost their owners (last year was our inaugural year for this event) , host strawberry picking and pumpkin patch events that are mainly family-oriented, but can be enjoyed by adults as well.
Asahi Gakuen CommitteeChair: Masanao Ono
Asahi Gakuen provides students who plan on returning to Japan or may live in Japan in the future the opportunity to learn the curriculum taught in Japanese schools as well as their way of life so they could adapt seamlessly to Japanese education and living environment.
Asahi Gakuen Committee is a part of JBA, but simultaneously is the Board of Directors operating the school. We assume the responsibility of being the school’s highest decision-making body. In order to support the development of over 1300 students from preschool to high school, we operate upon our basic policy to “pursue high quality education” and to “build a healthy work environment.” Although these supplementary lessons are held only on Saturdays, faculty members devote themselves to the preparation for that one day and conduct substantial childcare and instruction.
This year, Asahi Gakuen is planning on several commemorative events in ringing in its 50th anniversary. We are also working to further enhance academic proficiency and global human resource development. In addition, we aim to create an enjoyable work environment that faculty and staff can stay motivated. Unraveling the long history of the last 50 years, we reflect back on the important role that Asahi Gakuen has played within the Japanese community in Southern California, and by looking forward to the next 50 years, we will carry out further progressive school management skills.