On Friday September 9 th , 2022, JMSA hosted its 50 th Annual Dinner at the New York Athletic
Club. 186 guests gathered together in the first in person dinner in almost 3 years. The evening
commemorated JMSA’s rich history and celebrated its past, present and future with the theme
“Celebrating our past 50 years and paving the way for our future.”
The evening’s MC was Dr. Maki Kano who was also the annual dinner chairperson.
The evening started off with a glorious jazz performance by Migiwa “Miggy” Miyajima and the
Golden Miracles. One of their pieces “Fun Trying” was a new original piece that Ms. Miyajima
specifically composed for the 50 th Annual Dinner. The song represented conquering challenges
in life that can be especially difficult but meaningful. Ms. Miyajima wished JMSA and its
members all the best and “fun trying” in their next 50 year’s future endeavors.
Dr. Robert Yanagisawa gave the opening remarks. This dinner marked the end of his 4-year
term as the President of JMSA. Dr. Yanagisawa led JMSA through over the almost 3 years of the
covid pandemic and JMSA is extremely grateful to him for his dedication and leadership during
his term. Next, Ambassador Mikio Mori of the Consul-General of Japan in New York greeted the
guests with a heartfelt message which talked about JMSA’s commitment to supporting the
Japanese American community, especially during the challenging pandemic.
Dr. Makoto Iwahara and Dr. Shunichi Homma were the co-chairs of the 2022 nominating
committee. Dr. Iwahara presented the slate of new executive officers and the board of
directors to be approved by the members. Dr. Maki Kano was unanimously voted in by the
members to be the new President of JMSA. Dr. Kano gave an emotional speech which discussed
her journey through JMSA starting from when she was a scholarship recipient in 1993 to today,
being elected the new president. Her message stated that newer members of JMSA and the
younger generation of JMSA can feel confident that JMSA is an organization that will support
them if they have the energy and initiative.
Dr. Iwahara, Dr. Kano and Dr. Yanagisawa gave a presentation entitled “Honoring JMSA’s past
50 years and Paving the Way for the Future”. Dr. Iwahara honored the lives of two past
presidents Dr. Masazumi Adachi and Dr. Kinichi Shibutani who sadly passed away this summer.
Dr. Kano and Dr. Yanagisawa discussed ways that JMSA is moving forward and paving the way
for the future. They highlighted how JMSA is growing to be a truly national and international
organization. Dr. Masayuki Nigo, an infectious disease specialist in Houston, Texas, Dr. Akira
Nishisaki who is a pediatric critical care specialists at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania and
Dr. Jay Starkey, who is a neuroradiologist at OHSU in Portland, Oregon were featured as non-
regional board members. Dr. Nigo and Dr. Starkey hosted satellite dinners to commemorate the
50 th Annual Dinner which were the first in JMSA’s history.
JMSA presented two life time achievement awards. The first award was presented by Dr.
Shunichi Homma to Mr. Yosuke J. O. Honjo, the President and CEO of the ITO EN (North
America) INC. for his tremendous unwavering support of JMSA over the years. Dr. Yuzuru Anzai
presented the second life time achievement award to Dr. Jean Furuyama who is a past
president and a vital leader and contributor to JMSA.
Dr. Yuichi Shimada, the chair of the scholarship Program presented the scholarship recipients.
The evening came to a close with closing remarks made by the new JMSA President, Dr. Maki
Kano who stated that she looks forward to working together with the board, members and
student representatives to pave the way for the future of JMSA. She gave special thanks to Mr.
Yoshio Kano, the executive secretary of JMSA, who orchestrated the annual dinner from behind
the scenes. JMSA would like to extend its deepest appreciation to the donors who have
supported JMSA and the Annual Dinner as benefactors. JMSA’s programs could not be possible
without the tremendous support (Please note posting of the donors to JMSA). The guests
greatly enjoyed the evening and to have a chance to once again come together since the start
of the pandemic.