New San Francisco Japantown Foundation Receives $500,000 Endowment from Kintetsu

SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 5, 2006) – The board of the new San Francisco Japantown Foundation today announced a $500,000 initial endowment from Kintetsu Enterprises of America and a contribution worth more then $100,000 from Jack Hirose.

The San Francisco Japantown Foundation was established as a nonprofit public benefit corporation to provide financial support of cultural, charitable and educational activities and services for the benefit of residents, visitors and other stakeholders of San Francisco’s Japantown and of activities and services that promote the growth, development and reservation of the area as a community that reflects the Japanese American experience. The organization’s 501(c)(3) status is pending.

The members of the Foundation board are:

* Richard Hashimoto, Japantown Merchants Association
* Jack Hirose, At-large Director
* Eiji Miwa, At-large Director
* Sandy Mori, Japantown Taskforce, Inc.
* Allen Okamoto, Sakura Matsuri
* Donald K. Tamaki, Minami Tamaki LLP
* Hiroshi Tomita, Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California

Board members were selected to represent a cross-section of the Japantown community, including businesses and community organizations. Deputy Consul General Kazuyoshi Yamaguchi of the Consulate General of Japan will serve as an advisory member.

“Kintetsu was very sad to leave San Francisco Japantown after being here for over 40 years,” said Takenori Kakutani, president of Kintetsu Enterprises of America. “We thank the Japanese American community, the Japantown merchants and the City of San Francisco for their support and we hope that our donation will be a good start for efforts to make sure that Japantown will continue for another 100 years.”

“Japantown this year celebrated its centennial and there has been many concerns about the area’s future,” said board member Sandy Mori. “As we start the next 100 years, the San Francisco Japantown Foundation will serve as one mechanism for the general public to preserve Japantown.”

There is no full-time staff for the Foundation. The volunteer members of the board and other volunteers will manage the organization.

The Foundation board will develop investment guidelines to ensure that funds will be responsibly invested to preserve capital and generate enough income to provide for grants. The board has not at this time selected investment managers, custodians or advisors. The Foundation plans to have grant information available in the second or third quarter of 2007.

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