Many thanks to Council Member Wendy Abe and our Hawaii leadership for their support for this event! Additional thanks to 2014 TOMODACHI Emerging Leader and Associate Member Lynn Miyahira, who provided the following report.
Mr. Yonamine addressing the audience
On May 5, about 100 of the who’s who in the Honolulu business community gathered at the beautiful Oahu Country Club to hear from Mr. Paul Yonamine, USJC Board Member and Country General Manager and President of IBM Japan.
The event started with a great anecdote by USJC Chairman, Dennis Teranishi, who shared “what it’s like to be with Paul in Tokyo.”
Paul began by touching upon his deep roots in Hawaii. He talked about his background and what it was like to grow up as the son of the famous baseball legend, Wally Yonamine. He shared how his career path has taken him from being a CPA in Los Angeles to the international business consulting expert he is today.
Among the guests were (L-R) Mr. Sungsoo Kim, Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Korea; Mayor Kirk Caldwell of Honolulu; Mr. Koichi Maruyama, Deputy Consul General of Japan
Paul’s passion is to help Japanese companies globalize, and he is extremely proud of the work that IBM Japan has accomplished. He gave us some background on IBM Japan and how the company has grown and adapted since 1937. He went into detail about the product lines that he believes will keep IBM at the forefront of the tech industry and how it is all part of the emerging third generation computing platform that combines cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security.
Congressman Mark Takai (D-HI 1) shaking hands with Gov. George Ariyoshi, former governor of Hawaii
Beyond IBM, Paul is very optimistic about Japan’s economic future and is thrilled to see “Abenomics” being implemented. He said, “I think Prime Minister Abe is doing a fantastic job” and suggested that Japan’s economy will grow in a way that we have not seen in the past 20 years. As Japanese companies adopt more global best practices, we will see household brands like Honda, Panasonic and Toyota expand into new sectors and become more profitable and flexible, he said.
(L-R) Council Member Eric Takahata, USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye, USJC Board Member Colbert Matsumoto
Paul concluded that he is confident that USJC is in a great position to further the people-to-people relationship building that needs to happen between our countries.
It makes me proud to be a member of USJC when I know that people like Paul, who embody the U.S.-Japan relationship, are behind our initiatives and leading the way for younger generations.
The author (Associate Member Lynn Miyahira) with Mr. Yonamine
Click here to see more photos from the event.