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The relationship between Higashi Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry and JCCIH grew out of conversations nearly 20 years ago around the economic potential direct flights between Hiroshima Airport and Hawai‘i Island’s two international airports could have on local economies.

A delegation from East Hawai‘i Hiroshima Kenjin Kai (a Hilo community organization) and JCCIH visited Higashi Hiroshima in January 1999. The following month, representatives from the HHCC visited Hilo; they were part of a contingent of 70 Hiroshima Prefecture leaders visiting Hawai‘i. The Prefecture leaders were led by Ken Ohara, whose daughter attended the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and had fond memories of Hilo and its hospitality.

These initial visits and subsequent information exchanges led to a Sister City Agreement signed in Higashi Hiroshima in November 1999 by Presidents Robert Satake (HHCC) and Janice Higashi (JCCIH). The Agreement promotes business, cultural, visitor, Chamber and other interactive activities that enhance international friendship and goodwill.

Over the years, annual goodwill visits have exposed JCCIH members to the “Wonders of Japan” and potential commerce opportunities. JCCIH is grateful to have relations with a Sister Chamber whose leaders continue to support the tenets of the Agreement.

We work closely with other chambers to advance the business community’s interest and grow our economy.

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