JMSA hosted the 51 st Annual Dinner on Saturday September 16 th at the Yale Club.
Almost 250 guests attended, making this annual dinner one of the most well attended dinners
in recent years.
The program started with an introduction by Ms. Kaoriko Kuge, the Master of Ceremony. Ms.
Kuge is a well-known newscaster with Fujisankei Communications. The evening started off with
the mesmerizing performance by Ms. Eiko Kano, violinist and Mr. Karen Hakobyan, pianist. They
played 5 beautiful pieces ending with the final piece of West Side Story “America”. Next JMSA
President Dr. Maki Kano-Lueckerath gave her welcome remarks and noted that the she feels
the current mission of JMSA is to support the health and wellbeing of the Japanese and
Japanese-American communities in the US and in Japan. Dr. Kano then introduced Ambassador
Mikio Mori of the Consul-General of Japan in New York who gave a wonderful greeting.
Ambassador Mori has been a figure of support and guidance during the post pandemic period.
JMSA was very honored to be able to share a very special video message from Dr. Tohru Kakuta,
M.D. who is the Vice President of the Japan Medical Association. This is the first time that a
member of the Japan Medical Association gave a special greeting for JMSA to commemorate
the Annual Dinner.
As dinner was served, Dr. Kano gave the Annual Dinner Presentation, “Celebrating our history
and paving the way for the future.” She noted the wonderful life of Dr. Roy Ashikari, JMSA’s 8 th
President and internationally acclaimed breast surgeon who contributed so much to the
community by saving so many lives, revolutionizing breast cancer surgical techniques and
sponsoring student exchange programs. He passed away peacefully this summer. JMSA will
miss his presence and guidance. Dr. Kano pointed out the JMSA is growing as a national
organization. Dr. Masaya Higuchi, a JMSA board member who specializes in family medicine
and geriatric medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston gave a brief message of
his involvement with JMSA as a national board member. This was followed by a brief video
message from Dr. Jay Starkey, the current JMSA secretary and board member, who is an
Associate Professor in Neuroradiology at Oregon Health and Science University. Dr. Myung
Sonoda, a founding member of JMSA, was honored by at the dinner. She attended the dinner
with her family members and members of Lyceum Kennedy French American Japanese School
where she is the current President and CEO.
Dr. Kamal Ramani, the co-chair of the annual dinner as well as the chairperson of the Tohoku
Resident Exchange Program, and acting Treasurer presented the Tohoku Resident Education
Program. The program had been on hold for almost 3 years and JMSA was very happy to
reinstate the program for the first time since the pandemic. Dr. Ramani congratulated the 9
residents from Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi who completed a week of observing JMSA
Dr. Robert T. Yanagisawa, the immediate past president of JMSA and Dr. Akira Nishisaki, one of
the Vice Presidents of JMSA presented the 2023 scholarship recipients. Please see link for the
2023 Scholarship Recipients. https://www.jmsa.org/2023/10/04/2023-jmsa-scholarship-announcement/
JMSA greatly thanks all of its generous donors and supporters who make our programs
Please see link for the 2023 JMSA donors and benefactors: https://www.jmsa.org/2023/12/04/jmsa-2023-donors-list/
Please see link for the 51 st Annual Dinner Program:
Please see link for the 51st Annual Dinner Photos: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/flzp1r0fyn3oqn1r751jx/h?rlkey=sjhbl27lye3jypm6ypered9g1&dl=0