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Starry Night in Little Tokyo

For Immediate Release
June 29, 2016

Media Contact: Jen Huang, Communications Coordinator
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: 213.473.1612

Starry Night in Little Tokyo

      (Los Angeles, CA)       ​Starry Night in Little Tokyo, the 10th annual Little Tokyo Service Center Sake & Food Tasting event returns to Little Tokyo Friday, July 29 on the Plaza of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.
​      Starry Night in Little Tokyo features tasty bites from some of the southland’s finest restaurants and food providers and an array of sake samplings from more than 40 breweries provided by Mutual Trading Co., Inc. Featured restaurants for 2016 include Maison Akira, Roy’s, Izakaya & Bar Fu-ga, Baldoria, Feast from the East, Blue Star and many more. ​“We wanted to bring the event back to Little Tokyo for another year because it’s our home base, and especially now with active construction of the Regional Connector transit project impacting the area, we want to make sure people know that ‘Little Tokyo is Open for Business,’” explained LTSC Executive Director Dean Matsubayashi. “It’s important that we do all we can to make sure that the small businesses, churches, temples and community organizations that make Little Tokyo the special place that it is, survive the disruption and eventually benefit from the completed transit line.”

      As part of the evening’s festivities, special recognition will be given to Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, U.S. Bank and three longtime Little Tokyo businesses: Bunkado, Fugetsu-do and Rafu Bussan.
      ​Assemblymember Santiago represents the 53rd Assembly District, which includes Little Tokyo. He is a strong advocate for preserving the rich resources of ethnic communities, education and the environment. U.S. Bank is a major financial institution and longtime generous supporter of the work of Little Tokyo Service Center. Special recognition will also be given to 3 longtime Little Tokyo businesses that over the years have contributed to the unique character and cultural life of the community. Featuring an array of things Japanese, Bunkado, celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2016. Fugetsu-do, a traditional Japanese confectionery, is the oldest business in Little Tokyo founded in 1903. Rafu Bussan is the place for essential Japanese household, art and gift items and has served the community for more than 58 years.

      ​Starry Night in Little Tokyo kicks off a weekend of culinary experiences called “Delicious Little Tokyo” from Friday, July 29 until Sunday, July 31, with more than 50 local businesses and organizations participating offering special menu items, discounts, workshops, food tours and more. For more information on Delicious Little Tokyo, www.golittletokyo.com.

​      All proceeds from “Starry Night in Little Tokyo” benefit the Little Tokyo Service Center, a social service and community development organization committed to “positive change for people and places.” LTSC provides culturally sensitive social service programs serving youth to seniors in five different languages. In partnership with local community organizations, LTSC has built more than 1,000 units of affordable housing with on-site supportive services from South Los Angeles to the San Gabriel Valley. Committed to the preservation of Little Tokyo, one of three remaining Japantowns in the nation, LTSC works with Little Tokyo community partners to foster a shared vision of a vibrant, culturally rich and sustainable Little Tokyo community.

​      Tickets for “Starry Night in Little Tokyo” are $100 Pre-Sale and $125 at the Door (Subject to availability). Attendees must be 21 years of age or older. The JACCC Plaza is located at 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, 90012. For more information and to purchase tickets: sake.ltsc.org.

Wage Standards for the City of Los Angeles

For Immediate Release
July 7, 2016​​​​​​​​

Media Inquiries:
Calvin Ratana
Thai CDC 323-468-2555
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

July 7, 2016, Los Angeles, CA—Representatives from the Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC), Chinatown Service Center (CSC), Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), and Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) came together to announce the outreach plan for the new minimum wage rollout in the City of Los Angeles.

Starting July 1, 2016, the new minimum wage for the City of Los Angeles is $10.50 per hour. This new minimum wage applies to businesses that have 26 or more employees. The minimum wage is part of the planned minimum wage increase that will reach $15.00 by 2020.

“The Thai Community Development Center is pleased to be part of a Citywide effort to educate small businesses particularly Thai businesses about the City’s new wage standards in an effort to help Thai businesses understand the minimum wage and anti-wage theft laws now in effect so that they can be in compliance,” said Chancee Martorell, Executive Director of Thai Community Development Center. “We also want to make ourselves available to answer any questions they may have and resolve any confusion on the new wage standards. By helping them achieve compliance, we protect both businesses and workers.”

The Asian Pacific Islander (API) organizations will work together to provide informational outreach materials to educate businesses in their respective communities. Alongside informational materials, each organization will have programs that will cater to small business owners.

Furthermore, they will connect with community members through business workshops, Entrepreneurship Training Program classes, community events, meetings and one-on-one business counseling.

"SIPA understands how important this project is to make sure that employers are informed about new wage laws. Pilipino business owners need to know how minimum wage laws will impact their businesses and what, if any, adjustments they need to make for the benefit of both employer and employee," stated Dorothy Gamoning, Interim Executive Director of SIPA.

"As a neighborhood-based community development corporation established over 35 years ago, the preservation and continuation of Little Tokyo as a viable, culturally rich community is a priority for Little Tokyo Service Center. A large part of maintaining Little Tokyo a culturally rich community involves having a strong small business economy,” said Takao Suzuki, Director of Community Economic Development of LTSC. “To maintain and help the growth of the small business sector in Little Tokyo, providing information, education and technical assistance in Japanese in a culturally sensitive manner is a priority of ours when conducting workshops and outreach regarding the City's new wage standards. We are excited about the partnership with Thai CDC, CSC, SIPA and the City to make this happen!"

With this outreach plan, the API organizations plan to reach between 80 and 100 businesses and over 1,000 individuals in their communities by the end of the month of July. Individuals can reach out to the API organizations or visit www.wagesla.lacity.org for more information about the new minimum wage law in Los Angeles.


  • Chanchanit Martorell, Executive Director, Thai Community Development Center
  • Jessica Caloza, Representative, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (invited)
  • Ron Fong, Director, Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program (invited)
  • Peter Ng, Chief Executive Officer, Chinatown Service Center
  • Dorothy Gamoning, Interim Executive Director, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans
  • Takao Suzuki, Director of Community Economic Development, Little Tokyo Service Center
  • Thai Business Owner (invited)
  • Chinese Business Owner (invited)
  • Pilipino Business Owner (invited)
  • Japanese Business Owner (invited)

July 7, 2016
11:00 am: Media Availability
11:15 am: Representatives speak
11:35 am: Question and answer

Chinatown Service Center
767 N. Hill Street, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(Parking validation available for press)



231 E Third Street, G-106
Los Angeles, CA 90013
担当:ワキタ 電話番号:213-473-3035


リトル東京サービスセンターは36年間、「Positive Change for People and Places をビジョンに掲げ、低所得で生活に困難を感じていらっしゃる高齢者や子供さんがおられるご家族のためにソーシャルサービスを続けてきました。当センターではこのビジョンに共感してくださるボランティアを募集しています。


ボランティアトレーニングは、リトル東京において、4月23日から6月4日まで毎週土曜日 (5月7日、28日を除く) 、午前9時半から午後3時半まで行われます。トレーニングには、LTSCの歴史とサービス、南カリフォルニアの日系人とリトル東京の歴史について、日系コミュニティにおける社会福祉の問題、人を援助するための法律やリソースの概略などについてのワークショップ、ボランティアがクライアントとの適切な距離を保ち 、奉仕活動をする方法などが含まれます。


Little Tokyo Service Center to Open South Bay Office


Contact: Dr. Hiroko Higuchi Muratsuchi
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Little Tokyo Service Center, a social service and community development organization serving the Japanese American and other diverse communities, is opening a South Bay office, located at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, 1964 West 162nd Street, Gardena. To welcome the community to its new office, LTSC will host an open house with light refreshments on Friday, February19th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to drop by during the Open House hours, but RSVPing at http://tinyurl.com/LTSC-SB-rsvp is highly encouraged.

LTSC has provided services to seniors, caregivers and families with young children in the South Bay for more than 20 years. Last fall, LTSC received a grant from NeighborWorks® America, a national nonprofit organization created by Congress in 1978 to provide financial support, technical assistance, and training for community-based revitalization efforts, to establish an office and expand accessibility and outreach to the large Japanese American community in the South Bay, including the large shin-issei, or post-World War II Japanese immigrant population living and working in the area.

“Little Tokyo Service Center is excited to launch this new initiative to better serve the needs of the large South Bay Nikkei community,” said Dr. Hiroko Higuchi Muratsuchi, LTSC’s South Bay Community Engagement Coordinator. “We are thankful to the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute for partnering with LTSC in this endeavor.”

“LTSC has been providing quality and culturally sensitive social services to the Nikkei community in the South Bay for many years, and has been an important community partner with us by collaborating on many public programs,” said Alison Kochiyama, Executive Director of the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute. “Gardena Valley JCI has relied on LTSC for bilingual services, which are essential in the South Bay. We at Gardena Valley JCI are so happy to be able to house LTSC's South Bay office here, which will extend their services to reach more people.”

To support its outreach effort, LTSC is in the process of starting a South Bay Japanese American needs assessment study led by Dr. Higuchi. The study is funded by grants from NeighborWorks® America and the UCLA Aratani Community Advancement Research Endowment (CARE).

“This study will be the first comprehensive survey focusing on the South Bay Japanese American community,” explained Dr. Higuchi. “The survey will focus on identifying the needs of not only Japanese Americans who have lived in the South Bay for generations, but also the needs of postwar Japanese immigrants who now make up almost half of the Japanese American population in the greater Los Angeles area.”

LTSC will consult with various stakeholders throughout the entire process of the study and share the report widely with stakeholders and community groups after its completion, which is expected to be in the fall of 2016.

For more information regarding LTSC’s South Bay office or the South Bay Japanese American needs assessment study, please contact Dr. Higuchi at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

LTSC Community Development Corporation is a non-profit community-based organization, which has been providing services for over 35 years to the greater Los Angeles community. Programs include senior services, assistance for victims of domestic violence, support groups, social services, child abuse prevention, mental health counseling, early childhood education, affordable housing, youth programs and community economic development.

Budokan Project in Little Tokyo receives $500,000 grant from W.M. Keck Foundation

For Immediate Release

Contact: Mike Murase at
(213) 473-1782 or Scott Ito
at (213) 473-1636

December 18, 2015

Budokan Project in Little Tokyo receives $500,000 grant from W.M. Keck Foundation (Los Angeles, CA) In December 2015, the W.M. Keck Foundation awarded a $500,000 grant to LTSC for its Budokan of Los Angeles project. Funding will support construction costs for the Little Tokyo Service Center’s Budokan of Los Angeles project, which is a multi-purpose recreation facility with a roof-top park in Little Tokyo, near Downtown Los Angeles.

The Budokan project is located at 237-249 Los Angeles Street, between 2nd and 3rd Street in Little Tokyo, adjacent to the Little Tokyo Branch Library and Vibiana LA. The Budokan project will consist of a gymnasium, community space and a roof top park and will feature an array of sports (basketball, volleyball and martial arts), after-school programs, special events, tournaments, and programming for all ages.

Based in Los Angeles, the W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W. M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The Foundation’s grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical, science and engineering research. The Foundation also maintains an undergraduate education program that promotes distinctive learning and research experiences for students in the sciences and in the liberal arts, and a Southern California Grant Program that provides support for the Los Angeles community in the areas of health care, civic and community services, education and the arts, with a special emphasis on children and youth from low-income families. For more information, please visit www.wmkeck.org.

"I would like to thank the W.M. Keck Foundation for their support of the Budokan project and for their recognition on the importance of expanding recreational opportunities in the Downtown area," said Dean Matsubayashi, Executive Director of Little Tokyo Service Center. “As one of the first major foundations to support our project, this investment is a testament to and a belief in the need for a facility like the Budokan of Los Angeles in Downtown Los Angeles. It also indicates that they share in our vision and are confident in LTSC’s ability to complete a project of this scale.”

LTSC Community Development Corporation is a non-profit community-based organization, which has been providing services for over 35 years to the greater Los Angeles community. Programs include but are not limited to: family and individual mental health counseling, child abuse prevention, case management senior services, childcare, after-school programs, affordable housing, and community redevelopment.