Hawaii-Hiroshima Emerging Young Business Leaders Program

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In honor of the 20th anniversary of the sister-state relationship between Hawai‘i and Hiroshima, the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce created a new program in partnership with the Hiroshima Prefecture Government and the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).

The Hawaii-Hiroshima Emerging Young Business Leaders Program was created to:

  • Improve leadership competency and commitment
  • Build cross-country relationships which will continue to become long-term relationships
  • Learn the impact that Japanese culture has had on Hawaii
  • Learn and share Japanese and Hawaii values

A total of 19 participants were selected into the inaugural program, with nine individuals from Hawa‘ii.

The delegates are currently involved in a wide range of industries including real estate, construction, finance, data base management, hotel management, retail, restaurant, law and government.


The initial phase of the program took place from Nov. 13 to 16, 2017, in Honolulu. Over the course of the four days, the delegates were immersed in an intense executive leadership training program to expose them to the skills needed to be leaders in their companies and communities. Participants were also educated in Hawaiian cultural values and how they reflect attributes that build strong and vibrant communities.

The same group will travel to Hiroshima from March 5 to 8, 2018. The Japan visit will enlighten participants on the virtues that made Japan an economic powerhouse.

“We are looking at the next generation of leaders in Hawai‘i and Japan,” said Wayne Ishihara, president & CEO, Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce. “Our first group is committed to drive change in their organizations and communities, which will benefit Hawai‘i and Japan in the future.”


“This new program is the perfect example of how we want to expand our sister-state relationships,” DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria added. “We are promoting cultural exchange and business opportunities that will have lasting effects for economic development here in Hawai‘i, as well as in Japan.”

The inaugural Hawai‘i participants in the program were Edward Kiyo Egashira, Ina Chang, James Tenrai, Jill Kuramoto, Rick Mishima, Kevin Ching, Kristin Alm Kamakahi, Lucas Love and Michael Lim.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this excellent program,” said Mishima. “Not only did I advance my knowledge in management and leadership through the friendships made with my cohorts, I gained a network of influential business leaders in Hiroshima.”


For more information about the program, contact Wayne Ishihara, president & CEO of the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce, at [email protected] or (808) 949-5531.

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