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Weekly Update 2/18 - Announcing our 2021 APCC Junior Ambassadors

Dear Members and Friends of JASH,

The Japan-America Society of Hawaii (JASH) is pleased to announce the selection of four Junior Ambassadors (JAs) to represent JASH and Hawaii at the 33rd Annual Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention (APCC) in summer 2021.

The APCC is a cultural exchange program that deepens participant’s appreciation for the cultures of other nations and regions, and promotes mutual understanding and friendship, nurtures international awareness in young people, and works towards world peace and co-existence. It is hoped that the JAs will build an international network of friends. Typically, the homestay and global camp is held in Fukuoka, Japan, where the students meet over 200 fellow Junior Ambassadors from 40 countries and cities in the Asia-Pacific region in a global youth camp. The program also includes a homestay, where JAs live with a Japanese host family.

The 2020 program was unfortunately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For 2021, the APCC generously invited the 2020 delegations to participate in this year’s events as our 2021 Junior Ambassadors. Three of our 2020 JAs accepted the invitation to continue training with us as representatives of JASH and Hawaii. To complete our delegation, in January 2021 we selected one new JA following a competitive application and virtual interview process.

For the next several months, the four Junior Ambassadors—two boys and two girls—will participate in a JASH-designed training program to broaden their horizons and prepare them for their cross-cultural experiences. It is our hope that our Ambassadors will mature into adults with a strong sense of social responsibility.

Our returning Junior Ambassadors are:

  1. Jacqueline Furuta, attends 'Iolani School

  2. Loch Moorman, attends Kainalu Elementary School

  3. Rhegen Villarimo, attends Niu Valley Middle School

And new for 2021,

  1. Willa Stack, attends Waikiki Elementary School

They will be accompanied by chaperone Sandy Takeda, who has been actively involved with the APCC since her children also participated in the program as JAs

Pictured: 2021 APCC Junior Ambassadors and Chaperone during our virtual orientation workshop. From left to right: JAs Rhegen Villarimo, Willa Stack, Jacqueline Furuta, Loch Moorman, and chaperone Sandy Takeda.

If you wish to know more about the APCC program, please visit the JASH website at, or contact Christianne Ono, APCC Program Coordinator at (808) 524-4450 or via We thank you for your continued support of JASH.


Upcoming Programs

Zoom Webinar Japan Currents COVID-19 Recovery: Public Health and Resumption of Travel Wed., Feb. 24, 2021 3:30-5:00pm (HST) [Feb. 25, 10:30am (JST)] Click to Register

This event is open to the public and is free to attend thanks to our generous sponsors, the Embassy of Japan and the National Association of Japan-America Societies.

For this year’s Japan Currents, experts from the U.S. and Japan share their country’s experiences, policies, and plans moving forward regarding COVID-19 recovery in the public health and travel sectors. Please note that due to the content of this program, this event will now be in Webinar format and will not include the previously advertised breakout sessions.

Speaking on public health, we welcome Lt. Gov. Josh Green, physician and 14th Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, and Dr. Norio Ohmagari, Director of AMR Clinical Reference Center and Director of Disease Control and Prevention Center of National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM) in Japan. Presenting the latest information on the resumption of travel, we welcome John De Fries, president and chief executive officer of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA), and Eric Takahata, Managing Director of Hawaiʻi Tourism Japan (HTJ). The program will be moderated by Barbara Tanabe, owner and founder of Hoʻakea Communications, LLC (a public affairs company) and JASH Board Director. Click here to read our speakers’ complete biographies.


Virtual Program “Momotaro” Storygami with Moanalua High School Japanese Club Sat., Feb. 27, 2021 1:30-2:30pm (HST)

On Saturday, February 27 JASH is teaming up with the Moanalua High School Japanese Club (MOHS JPN CLUB) to present an interactive Storygami event! Learn some fun origami while listening to the story of “Momotaro” (“Peach Boy”). Suitable for kids ages 3-11. As this is a virtual event, please prepare your own sheets of origami (any square paper will do!). For details and to register, click here.


Shared Events

Hosted by Japan Society

Virtual Program

Women in Tech: Japanese & International Trailblazers

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

1:30pm HST


At this panel, Sara Hooker of Google Brain, Yuka Kojima of VR headset company FOVE Inc., and Noriko Arai of the Todai Robot Project share their career stories and experience working in various tech roles, and offer advice for how women can excel in the tech workplace. The program will be moderated by NHK World’s Catherine Kobayashi.

For details and to register, click here.


Hosted by the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center

Virtual Program

East Meets West:

A Cross-Cultural Journey

Thursday, Feb. 25

4:00pm HST


Japan and Hawaii share a vibrant history shaped by immigration, war, peace, commerce, and culture. It is our goal to examine difference and similarities between us by inviting professionals in diverse fields on to this new Zoom series titled "East Meets West: A Cross Cultural Journey". East Meets West features one guest speaker from Japan and one from Hawaii discussing socially relevant topics and how their cultures influence and determine the way they navigate their work and lives. The goal is to bridge the real and perceived gaps between East and West, leading to mutual understanding and respect of each other’s culture.

For details and to register, click here.

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