On February 23rd, the JBA 56th Anniversary Reception was held at the Official Residence of Consul General of Japan. Guests such as Torrance mayor, Pat Furey, World Trade Center Los Angeles President, Stephen Cheung, and other VIPs of each industry attended the reception.

A year to spread the word of Japan’s contribution in Southern California.

Each year, JBA holds a reception with the intention of spreading the information of the friendly relationship with government and economic organizations, as well as have an opportunity for JBA member companies to interact and network. At 5:30pm the doors open and JBA members as well as guests began to arrive.

At 6pm the presenter, Business and Commerce Committee member Yoshihiro Sano opened with a quick greeting. The first one on stage was The Honorable Akira Chiba Consul General of Japan. He spoke of the great accomplishments by saying, “Japan has created over 80 thousand direct employment and over 181 thousand indirect employment in Southern California. This is amazing news I would like you all to share with those around you.”

Next up was JBA President, Satoshi Okawa. He emphasized, “I would like the new Trump administration to know that Japanese companies have contributed a great deal to the Southern California economy. JBA will continue to build a strong relationship with the local community and work towards further improving the growth and flourishing of Southern California.”

America’s growth depends on trade with foreign countries.

After President Okawa’s speech, a short video introducing JBA’s history and recent activities was shown to the attendees. Following the video was Torrance mayor, Pat Furey’s speech. “With the new presidents, we now have many new challenges as California is different from any other state. With JBA and the strong relationship Japanese companies have with California, I am sure that we can over come any obstacle.”

Next on stage was California Department of Motor Vehicles Chief Deputy Director, Bill Davidson, who came all the way from Sacramento. He stated that he would like to strengthen the relationship with JBA even more this year.

World Trade Center Los Angeles President, Stephen Cheung followed with his speech. He presented detailed data on how much Japanese companies are creating employment in Southern California and that the trade with Japan is a massive amount. He emphasized that, “America leans toward trade protectionism but trading with foreign countries is the key to America’s growth. Los Angeles must continue to be an example in this to lead the country.”

Lastly, JBA Presidents Mr. Okawa and the speakers came to the front and opened the sake as usual. US-Japan Founding Chair Thomas Iino went on stage, “This year, we must spread more information on Japanese contribution in the US business.” Then he made a toast, “To JBA’s strong vision and creation! Cheers!”

Once the speeches ended, the guests moved towards the Japanese garden in the back. Lanterns were decorated and Japanese style food booths were set up. It was like a Japanese festival with Sushi, Okonomiyaki, and Japanese sake. Everyone enjoyed the Japanese setting and the wonderful company.

The Honorable Akira Chiba Consul General of Japan
JBA President Satoshi Okawa
Torrance mayor Pat Furey
DMV Chief Deputy Director Bill Davidson
World Trade Center Los Angeles President Stephen Cheung
US-Japan Council Founding Chair Thomas Iino who made the toast
2016 Miss Sake USA finalist, Nina Fujii, greets the guests with a smile
2016 Nisei Queens and coats also attended