News Release - Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association (HISLEA)
Masako Nashimoto
Vice President
Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association
C/O Nashimoto & Associates
Phone: (808) 955-9361

Hawaii still an attractive destination to Japanese Retirees.
Non-Profit Organization achieved 500+ members in 1 year!
Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association

October 29, 2008, Honolulu, Hawaii ? Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association (HISLEA), a State of Hawaii Non-Profit Organization based in Honolulu, celebrated its 1st Anniversary Event on Friday, October 3, 2008 at the Waikiki Elks Club. This event attracted almost one hundred people from Hawaii and Japan.

HISLEA was established on September 26, 2007. The objective of HSLEA is to spiritually and physically enrich lives, to promote and encourage an active life for seniors from Japan who visit and stay in Hawaii in addition to local active seniors residing in Hawaii. Also, HSLEA was formed to welcome "approximately 2.2 million baby boomers annually," that started to retire during 2007, to Hawaii. It is estimated that approximately 7 million baby boomers will retire by 2010.

Since it officially started activities in November 2007, the organization developed and implemented an "Information Center" in Waikiki for members and for the general public to get necessary and useful information in Japanese language. The Information Center has a "Member's Hotline" as one of membership benefits.

500 Individual Members and more than 1000 participants for the events

HISLEA has been sponsoring weekly "Senior Friday Events" for seniors, including "First Friday," "Senior Life Seminars", "Lunch and chat at Waikiki Yacht Club," and "Golf Events." In addition, it has sponsored various "Special Events," such as participating in Honolulu Festivals, lectures and entertainment by famous Japanese businessmen, scientists and other prominent people. Because of their "active" performances and PR efforts, more than 500 individual members have joined the organization within the first year. That was five times more than the originally aim at the initiation of the organization. HISLEA has already held more than one hundred events in one year, more than one thousand people participated in these events.

HISLEA's reputation as one of the most active and fun organizations has spread quickly, not only in Hawaii but also in Japan. HISLEA's event information has been featured in Hawaii in most of local Japanese media.

HISLEA has been introduced on Japanese TV shows, major national newspapers such as Yomiuri Newspaper, the largest newspaper in the world with a daily circulation of over 10 million copies, Suponichi, and various magazines.

Ryozo Sakai, president of HISLEA, who is president of R. Sakai Company and former president of Sony Hawaii, said, "We have been operating by membership dues and donations from members and the general public from Japan and Hawaii. All the activities have been organized and run by our volunteers. We have more than fifty volunteers working together. We are blessed to be such a pleasant organization that helps to achieve real enjoyable and active senior lives in this paradise, Hawaii. I hear so many people who have participated in our activities say that they really wanted this kind of organization that can be resourceful as well as developing friendships.
They also contribute to the community by participating our charity events."

Since established as a non-profit organization under 501 (c)(3), HISLEA has started to participate in charity events such as "Waikiki Beach Cleanup Event" sponsored by Nippon Club, consisting of over 100 leading Japanese executives, which was a fundraising event for Aloha United Way.
HISLEA also has performed its own charity campaign for the victims of Iwaki-Miyagi Inland Earthquake and raised almost $ 1,700. Sakai said, "We would like to expand our involvement in charity events to help people in Hawaii and Japan. Through these activities, we will be able to achieve rich and active senior life and friendship between Japan and USA."

The rapid growth in members of HISLEA seems a little unusual considering recent decline of Japanese visitors to Hawaii. However, "Baby boomers in Japan have just started retiring and many people love Hawaii. Their financial status is pretty steady from government and employer's pension plans as well as their lifetime savings. According to recent studies by the Japanese government, Hawaii is one of the most attractive destinations for many Japanese retirees’ because of the proximity, beautiful natural resources, excellent weather and Aloha spirit. However, they are anxious about language barrier and spending time without friends in Hawaii. Our efforts are aimed to provide resources for those Japanese "active seniors" to have exciting and enjoyable time here in Hawaii while maintaining a safe and secure feeling. I am confident that more Japanese people of this age group will come to Hawaii to spend their happy retirement lives if wes keep making efforts," said Sakai.
Mr. Ryozo Sakai
President of HISLEA,
President of R. Sakai Company
and former President of Sony Hawaii.

Hawaii Senior Life Enrichment Association
P.O. Box 25355, Honolulu, HI 96825 Tel: (808) 428-5808 Fax: (808) 396-1140