Sayoonara, JJ Naoki

Long-standing JASH leader, esteemed Chairman Emeritus Junjiro "J.J." NAOKI, will be returning to Japan this week after over 15 years in Houston.

Mr. Naoki first came to Houston in 1998 as the President and CEO of Satake U.S.A. Inc., the industry leader in optical sorting technology for the food industry.  Recognizing that global thinking and cultural understanding are powerful business tools, he wasted no time in becoming a leading advocate of U.S.-Japan friendship in the community.

His achievements/contributions include:

  • Serving on the JASH Board over 10 years and as JASH Board President since 2011
  • Supporting the formation of the Japanese Association of Greater Houston
  • Securing gardeners from Japan to renovate and maintain the Japan Garden in Hermann Park and guiding the formation of an advisory council to ensure the garden’s upkeep
  • Forming a delegation to visit Japan in honor of the 40th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Houston and Chiba City
  • Organizing The Manjiro Society for International Exchange, Inc.’s Grassroots Summit in Houston in 2002
  • Welcoming the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Training Squadron on their stop at the Port of Houston in 2006
  • Providing leadership and monetary support to ensure the sustainability of annual Japan-related community events, from the annual Bento Contest, Regional and State Japanese Language Speech Contests, and Japan Festival Houston

In recognition of his contributions to the City and citizens of Houston, Mr. Naoki was appointed Honorary Citizen of Houston and selected to serve as a Goodwill Ambassador of Houston.

We thank Mr. Naoki for his long-standing leadership of JASH and his dedication to the promotion of Japanese culture in Houston.  We will miss you, JJ!!