National President’s Report – July 2014

July 26, 2014 at 10:38 am

by Ken Noma.

Warmer weather has finally arrived and many of you will be taking your well-deserved vacations.  If possible, please use the opportunity to re-engage with our community by attending summer festivals or visiting historic and cultural sites of significance to our heritage.

Nikkei Pride
Although it was only a few months ago, the Sochi Olympics of February seems like a distant memory.

I was surprised to learn about the growing number of Nikkei competitors who took part in the Winter Olympic and Para-Olympics.  They seemed to have exploded to the attention of the main-stream media this year.   The list of Nikkei athletes below was supplied by Kevin Okabe and although it may not be complete, I wanted to bring them to your attention (I would appreciate receiving names left out at: National@najc.ca).

We admired the “Go For Broke” bravery of Ski Jumper, Atsuko Tanaka of Calgary – we hope that she has recovered from her injuries. Her father is a valued member of the Calgary Japanese Community Association.  Others deserving of recognition:  Snowboarder Katie Tsuyuki of Toronto;  Skiers Yuki Tsubota of Whistler and Emily Nishikawa of Whitehorse. In addition, Para-Olympians Brian McKeever of Canmore and Calgarian Kendra Ohama – a long time member of the Gold Medal Winning Para-Olympic baseketball team.  Perhaps the most famous Olympian is the retired Vicky Sunahara who continues to gives generously of her time to her fans.  Congratulations!  You make us proud.

The NAJC will look at the feasibility of a campaign to raise funds for our Olympic athletes so please stay tuned.

Betty Inouye and Yumiko Hoyano
Within a span of days, the NAJC lost two pillars of our organization.  I wish to send condolences to the Hoyano and Inouye families and formally acknowledge our debt to Betty and Yumiko whose unwavering support of the NAJC has insured our continuation today.

NAJC Annual General Meeting in Vancouver
The National Council will be holding its annual meeting on the weekend of September 20th in Vancouver.  Registration forms have been mailed out to member organizations and the agenda will be sent out once the forms have been returned to the National Office.  Observers wishing to attend the AGM and/or Saturday evening banquet at the Japanese Hall are asked to contact our office to register National@najc.ca.  Please note that only official delegates/alternates take part in discussions and there will be no motions or questions from the floor as per usual.  Registration deadline is July 18th.

At the 2012 AGM in Kamloops, the first concurrent Young Leaders conference was held followed by one in Toronto in 2013. Once again, Young Leaders will have an opportunity to attend this year.  I am most impressed with the energy of the Vancouver organizers who estimate that over 50 leaders will be in attendance.  Please note that there is a travel subsidy available for out of town leaders.  Further information is available by contacting our national office National@najc.ca

National Administrator Glenna Carlson
On behalf of the executive and our member organizations, I wish to thank Glenna Carlson for her service as National Administrator for the past year.  Glenna had just retired as an executive secretary for a Winnipeg school when she immediately took on the task of running our national office.  We are going to miss her professionalism and her ability to successfully juggle more than one task.  We wish her well as she takes a well deserved official retirement.   In the interim, the ever reliable Terumi Kuwada has agreed to fill the vacancy for now as we prepare for a busy summer leading up to the AGM.

NAJC Heritage Tours
Japan – September 29 to October 8, 2014-06-15
Space is still available for this tour that will take in: Kansai, Takayama, Kanazawa and Tokyo.

Heritage Tour to Hawai’i 2015 – March 3-12
This tour was originally scheduled for the summer of 2014 but has been moved to avoid the heat of summer.  The majority of the tour will see us on the Big Island in the towns of Kailua-Kona and Hilo with a few nights in Waikiki.  Those of you addicted to caffeine should not miss this trip.

Hiroshima – Kansai Ancestry Tour – Summer  2015
Preliminary itinerary is being drafted for what promises to be an exciting Heritage Tour being offered by the NAJC for next summer.  In addition to the typical visits to famous sites in Central Honshu area (Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Miyajima) we hope to assist tour members whose ancestors hail from this region to gather information on their family ancestry.  Members of the tour will receive a free CD of the translation of the 1920 Directory of Japanese living in Canada.

For further information, please contact: Mr. Joseph Sheu, Safeway Holidays at 1-888-258-4716 (toll free) or email at japantours@shaw.ca