Get Set! for Annual Meeting
Report of the Nominating Committee
Mini Solicitation (Edna Shoup)
Voter Service Reports on the Meet-the-Candidates Fair
Statement of Position on Campaign Financing
International Relations and Trade
LWV of Honolulu - Proposed Budget - 4/1/74 thru 3/31/75
Are Your Dues Due April 1?
Transportation - Proposed Rapid Transit System (Mary Pickett)
International Relations and Trade
Testimony briefs Pro-Con (cont.) Frank F. Fasi, Mayor, Honolulu, Hi.
It is naive for us to frown on an investment by a Japanese firm and to smile on an investment by, say, The Prudential Life Insurance Company of America, merely because the headquarters of one is in Tokyo and the other is in Newark, New Jersey.
The people of Hawaii should be much more concerned about the use that the investment is being put to, rather than what country it comes from.
I believe we should welcome outside investment from almost any legitimate source which is aimed at developing desirable new industries, adding to Hawaii's supply of jobs and--speaking for government--broadening the tax base."
"It is true that the recent entrance of newly prosperous Japanese investors has driven up land prices on Oahu. There is simply no doubt about it. And the result is that our people, especially our young people, are having an increasingly difficult time in finding adequate housing which they can afford. Over and over again we read about foreign investors buying local property and , in so doing, setting new benchmark prices for land 2nd for various tourist-connected businesses.
I am aware that our trade relationships with Japan are regulated by trade treaty and that currently Japanese businessmen enjoy advantages in the United States that U.S. businessmen are not allowed in Japan. As things stand, it is not a two-way street. No doubt, one purpose of these subcommittee hearings is to evaluate the effects of this somewhat one-sided situation and to determine what extent future trade treaties should be made more equitable."
George Mason, Publisher, Pacific Business News
"As long as I have been in Hawaii there has been a continuing and intensive effort by both government and private interests to attract new investment capital. The Honolulu Board of Realtors and the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce teamed up to produce a book in Japanese on real estate in Hawaii and explaining all the technical terminology prospective investors would need to know.
Between such things as this book and invitations from both the State government and many of the State's leading business executives, Japanese firms and investors were made to feel needed and wanted. By mid-1972 the rate of entry of Japanese capital had intensified but it was not as intense as the headlines and public discussion .would suggest.
The emotional reactions were brought on for several reasons. One is based on the size of some of the investments--large by Hawaii standards, but certainly not terribly significant by Japanese or mainland standards. Another reason was the failure of the Japanese industrialists to understand how different the American press is from the Japanese press. a further reason, and one which people here hesitate to discuss in public, is that there are racial undertones to the negative reactions. Dollars from Japan are no different than dollars from Britain.
I believe foreign investment in the U.S. is healthy.' It must eventually increase the opportunities for U.S. investment abroad and lead to improved international relations both economic and political."
Dr. George Kanahele, President, Overseas Investors Service Center
"The total amount of foreign capital in the State today is probably in excess of $400 million. When compared against the total corporate assets of 4.1 billion for the State, it is not a large amount. Yet it represents an important economic interest in our community.
Foreign investments may or may not benefit a community. On the negative side, foreign investments may disrupt the local economy by threatening local control or by exploiting the local labor market or by draining the local economy of profits. On the positive side, foreign investments may benefit the local economy by bringing in additional capital, new technology and management, more revenues for local government, and more income for local residents.
In Hawaii foreign investment has meant. timely infusions of capital, the creation of many new jobs or the prevention of loss of jobs, many additional dollars in taxes and wages, and new techniques and ideas. For example, while it is difficult to provide any exact statistical data, it is our belief that foreign con provide more than 6000 jobs in the State. In short, we believe that Hawaii derives many benefits from foreign investments."
Edward Brennan, Vice-President, Gold Bond Stamp Company
"I very enthusiastically favored the idea of our State's participation at Expo '70 in Osaka. I envisioned this as an excellent opportunity to enlarge our share of the Japanese tourist market and at the same time expand the possibilities for creating new buyers for commodities grown and manufactured in Hawaii.
Unfortunately, such has not been the case. The deluge of capital in came in the form of targeting in on our tourist industry, of buying up our already established hotel operations to the point where. Japan. investors now control in excess of 4,000 hotel rooms with most of them strategically located in the Waikiki area. They have recently completed purchases of four golf courses, three of major proportions and are negotiating for three others.
I am deeply concerned with the investment pattern where the bulk of almost 300 million dollars is invested in the tourist industry and shows no signs of slowing down. It could eventually result in foreign control of our leading industry.
It is in fact our moral responsibility to protect and not sell the lands of our state to any citizen of a foreign country. These . lands Should be held in trust for future generations to come."
Arthur Rutledge, President, Joint Council of Teamsters and Hotel Workers, AFL-CIO, Hawaii
"Because Hawaii has always been an area where capital is scarce, it could not have grown without the constant infusion of outside capital, Foreign investment, vital to Hawaii's economy, therefore will always be welcome whether it comes from Street or Tokyo.
I think the apprehension about the impact of Japanese investments has been slightly exaggerated. But to say that it has been exaggerated is not to say that there is no cause for concern. When we look for capital we look to Japan and we have become that country's best customer in the U.S. . Any trend to oppose Japanese investment in Hawaii, therefore, is cause for grave concern.
In the main, we have managed to maintain a working relationship with the Japanese, who acquired firms that have bargaining agreements with our unions. Still, there are instances when we feel that Japanese nationals are brought in to fill jobs that can and should be handled by local citizens. In some instances, these imported personnel have prevented their establishments from being organized.
Japanese investment has been concentrated in tourism and land development, At this point, therefore, I would like to share some thoughts on the principles that should motivate foreign investment in Hawaii to give a desirable impact Firstly, we would rather not see foreign investment concentrated in tourism. Secondly, we would like to see outside capital came in through joint-venture arrangements with local capital. The joint-venture arrangement is the only way of staying and becoming a part of Hawaii, that the foreign investor will never take over our economy, that we will continue to dictate our own goals and life-style.
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