Monthly Archives: January 2006

Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu House Legislative Session Invocation


Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu House Legislative Session Invocation
12:00 P.M., January 19, 2006

Sure, our world is full of people who hurt others, but together can we make it more peaceful and better to live. Every individual is accountable for one's actions. Everyone must do their best to treat others with respect. There is no such thing as wiping your slate clean just by repenting. When you hurt someone emotionally or physically, it is done, and you cannot turn back the clock to change history. We must be proactive, not reactive. Everyone must do their best to stop their bad actions from ever happening and perform good actions. We have no one to answer to but ourselves, if not our family and ancestors.

My time in this world is limited just as yours is. We must keep death in mind at all times because it will help us live life to the fullest. When you keep death in mind, you appreciate life. You cherish your family and loved ones. You love others and do kind gestures because that may be the last time you see them. You work hard because you may not have another chance. You pray to your ancestors and loved ones who passed away. And you appreciate the simple pleasures of life such as the sunset over the ocean.

By keeping death in mind, you are more aware and in control of your actions. You avoid speaking offensively to others because that may be the last words they hear from you. You avoid foolish behavior that can result in your death. You take care of your health by exercising, and eating and drinking in moderation. You free your mind of evil thoughts and search for inner peace. Finally, you prepare to leave a legacy for future generations.

Today, I want all of us to first, close our eyes and focus on the good actions you plan to do in the future. Then second, I want all of us to pray to our loved ones who passed away and our ancestors and thank them for all the good they have done to pave the way for us, and also to seek their guidance in our quest to live a positive life.

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Business Outreach Throughout the State of Hawaii


For the past three years as a State Representative, I have been participating in meetings and events in mostly Oahu business chambers and organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce, Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong Business Association of Hawaii, Filipino Chamber of Commerce, Honolulu Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce, Waipahu Business Association, West Oahu Economic Development Association, and Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California.

In preparing my economic package as Chair of the House Committee on Economic Development and Business Concerns, I felt I needed to hear the concerns of the business community not just in Honolulu, but throughout the entire State of Hawaii. Thus, in the past several months, I met with business organizations and leaders from the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii, Maui, Molokai and Ni'ihau either on Oahu or on their islands.

I have a better understanding of the struggles rural areas have. For example, last week, I spent Thursday, January 5th and Friday, January 6th in Molokai. I was invited by the Molokai Chamber of Commerce to speak at their quarterly meeting and visited many business owners. I realized there is a delicate balance between keeping the feel of a small community with economic growth and development. I sensed a struggle between marketing more tourists, which benefit Molokai retailers, restaurants, farmers, and tourist industry versus maintaining a small number of tourists to keep the island's pace the way old Hawaii was. There also appears to be a debate on whether Genetically Modified Organism farming should be allowed on Molokai, which is one of the biggest employers on the island.

Nonetheless, I believe agriculture and innovative entrepreneurs are a bright hope for Molokai. I met with energetic farmers and creative entrepreneurs in art. Areas government can help is helping the farmers with their irrigation system, programs to encourage entrepreneurs to do business on Molokai, and educational support. These are issues I will be working on with the Molokai legislators and the rest of my colleagues in the legislature.

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Happy New Year 2006!


Happy New Year! I have a strange feeling that 2006 will be a big year for Hawaii. The economy is doing well as a result of our booming tourism, federal spending, and construction.

I believe this is the year we can invest in areas such as technology, science, and agriculture. My dream is to make our knowledge-based industries (service or products created by the minds of the people of Hawaii) as big as tourism.

I will also be working on a measure to encourage new technology to help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce the amount of solid waste placed in our landfills.

With more revenue in our state treasury, one of the social areas I want to focus on is appropriating more money to help the Sex Abuse Treatment Center. Their budget has remained stagnated since the early 1990s. They need an increase of a little over $1 million to keep their operations going. We must help survivors of sexual assault. Keep in mind that they face post traumatic stress disorder, and there is a high risk of depression and drug use that can affect their lives. I have a package of bills relating to sexual assault prevention and law enforcement.

I look forward to working hard to better Hawaii. For 2006 and the rest of your life, treat others with respect. There is no such thing as wiping your slate clean just by repenting. When you hurt someone emotionally or physically, it is done, and you cannot turn back the clock to change history. You must stop your evil actions from ever happening and perform good actions. Remember that we are all responsible for our actions, you have no one to answer to but yourself, if not your family and ancestors. You are ultimately responsible for your behavior. Only together, we can make our world a better place.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year, good health, and much success in all your endeavors!

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