The Hawaii for Hiroshima Fundraising Committee raised $21,230 that was donated by organizations, businesses and individuals throughout the state of Hawai‘i for victims of the August landslides in Hiroshima City. All of the donations will be deposited into the “Hawaii for Hiroshima” fund and sent to the City of Hiroshima, which is responsible for the relief effort.

On Aug. 19, heavy rains in Hiroshima City resulted in more than 30 landslides, killing 74 residents and damaging many homes. More than 14,400 residents were forced to evacuate their homes in the immediate area — 1,600 of them are being housed in temporary shelters.

The Hawai’i for Hiroshima Fundraising Committee, made up of concerned organizations with roots and ties to Hiroshima Prefecture, came together to assist the victims of the tragedy. The four co-chairs are: Wayne Miyao, chair of the Hiroshima-Hawai‘i Sister State Committee; Robert “Bob” Nagao, president of the Honolulu Hiroshima Kenjin Kai; Wayne Ishihara, president of the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce; and Carole Hayashino, president and executive director of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i.

“We are overwhelmed by the substantial donations we received for the victims of the Hiroshima landslides,” said Miyao. “These donations will help us share our ‘aloha spirit’ with the people of Hiroshima and give hope to the victims of the devastating landslides in Hiroshima.”

Honolulu Hiroshima Kenjin Kai president Robert Nagao said he was pleased that all four Hiroshima kenjin kai on O‘ahu and the Big Island joined the effort, as many of their members have relatives and friends in Hiroshima. “Our hearts and best wishes go out to the victims of these unfortunate landslides,” said Nagao.

“We also thank businesses throughout the state of Hawai‘i, who unselfishly contributed to our fundraising efforts for Hiroshima,” said the Japanese Chamber’s Wayne Ishihara. “We are all proud of our Hiroshima heritage and want to show our support for the people of Hiroshima through this tragedy.”

Carole Hayashino added: “The JCCH was honored to serve as a sponsor to this important initiative for Hiroshima. We also want to offer our thanks to several churches who made contributions and to the media, particularly the Japanese media, who helped us to promote our cause on radio, television and print.” The JCCH donated administrative services to the effort, including processing and postage.

Hiroshima and Hawai‘i enjoy numerous “sister” relationships, including a sister-city relationship with Hiroshima City that dates back to 1959, a sister-chamber of commerce relationship that was formalized in 1981 and a sister-state relationship that was established in 1997.


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