Kuniyoshi becomes new president of the Okinawa Association of America

Kuniyoshi becomes new president of the Okinawa Association of America

Shingi Kuniyoshi

November 19, 2012 Sadao Tome Correspondent of Ryukyu Shimpo

On November 11, the Okinawa Association of America held its annual general meeting, in which it elected Shingi Kuniyoshi as its new president. Kuniyoshi will serve for two years from 2013. The association held the election at the end of the term of the former president Kimiko Goya, who served in the role from 2011.

Kuniyoshi will officially assume the position as of the New Year’s party and the inauguration ceremony, which will be held in next January. Kuniyoshi also served as the president from 1997 to 1998, so this is the second time that he has carried out the role. The association elected a total of seven executive board members in the election.

Next year the association will mark the 100th anniversary of its establishment. It lives up to its name as the leader of the more than 30 associations that exist in the North American continent, and is a role model for associations of other prefectures. The association has three buildings. Its members are second, third and fourth generation Japanese Americans. The president is required to be fluent in both Japanese and English.

With regard to serving as the president, Kuniyoshi said, “The Okinawa Association of America has a legacy that our predecessors have preserved for more than 100 years. I want to inherit the legacy and develop it.”
At the same time, Kuniyoshi said, “Many younger people, who are attracted by excellent Okinawan arts and culture, come to join the association. I want to cultivate them to become leaders.”

The Worldwide Youth Uchinanchu Festival will be held in Los Angeles in 2013. Kuniyoshi said, “I want to fully support the festival, and encourage the next generation to inherit Okinawan culture.”

Kuniyoshi went on to say, “I want to look back on our past and then make great progress forward. Many people volunteer to support the association, which has maintained a spirit of mutual aid for a long time. I want all its members to benefit from being in the association, and to promote exchange between our association and those of other prefectures.”

Kuniyoshi is from the Kume district of Naha. He completed a Ph.D. degree in geology of the University of California, Los Angeles, and went on to work for the U.S. government from 1976. After he worked at the U.S. Geological Survey Department and the Department of Agriculture Forest Service, he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1993 until his retirement in 2007. His last workplace was the Environmental Engineering Branch of Kadena Air Base.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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