Christine was born and reared in Japan, she is a Director of Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, and practices in the firm’s Corporate, Commercial, and Real Estate Law practice groups, primarily with Japanese-speaking clients. To address the needs of her Japanese clients, her practice also encompasses Immigration Law, Estate Planning and Employment matters. She is a past Director of Meritas, a worldwide affiliation of commercial law firms, which has members in over 258 global markets. Damon Key is the exclusive Hawaii affiliate of Meritas.
Chris once again was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for her work in Corporate Law, Real Estate, and Employment Law-Management.
Chris is the first woman elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Waialae Country Club. She has also been selected to serve on the Board of Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation ensuring children have high quality books to read.
In October of 2019, Christine was one of 2,000 distinguished guests from around the world to personally witness the Sokuirei-Seiden-No-Gi, the official enthronement proclamation ceremony for His Majesty Emperor Naruhito. She sat among kings, queens and foreign dignitaries in Japan’s Imperial Palace to watch history in the making. She was one of two people from Hawaii selected to attend the festivities and one of seven representatives of Japanese-American ancestry from the U.S.
Chris’ leadership in the Japanese community in Hawaii spans decades and includes serving as past board chair of the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce, United Japanese Society of Hawaii and co-chair of the 150th Anniversary of the Gannenmono Celebration. She currently serves as Chair of the Pan Pacific Festival Advisory Committee, director of the Hiroshima Kenjinkai and Hawaii Aloha Life Enrichment Association. She is a member of the Board of Governors and the Immediate Past Chair of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.
She practices in the following areas:
- Business and Commercial Transactions: Assist clients with business transactions; formation of corporations and limited liability companies; negotiation of contracts; purchase and sale transactions; business planning; loan agreements; and other commercial transactions to include retail, restaurant, distributorships, service, tour/travel, internet, real estate and non-profit business organizations.
- Immigration: Assist clients with non-immigrant business visa applications (to include E-2 Treaty Investor; E-2 Treaty Trader; L-1 intra-company transfer; and H-1B Specialty Occupation); coordinate immigrant visa applications; fiance visas; business/tourist visas; R-1 religious worker visas; E-B category filings; Family-based petitions; Transitional Diversity (Lottery) applications; Re-entry Permits; Consular Processing and general immigration consultation.
- Employment: Counsel and assist employers (corporations, non-profits, supervisors, human resource specialists) regarding employment issues; provide advice regarding employment agreements and employee handbooks/policies; and counsel clients with issues arising from termination, discipline, non-compete agreements, discrimination, harassment, etc.
- Real Estate: Assist clients with the purchase and sale of real property; purchase and sale of leasehold interests; review of commercial lease agreements (shopping centers, hotels, warehouses, offices, retail space, etc.); coordinate purchase and sale of hotels, golf courses, resorts and shopping centers; assist landowners with disputes related to water, boundary, title, nuisance and other issues; and other general consultation.
- Estate Planning: Assist clients with their estate plans (wills, trusts (revocable/irrevocable), power of attorney, advance health care directives, family limited partnerships, qualified domestic trusts, etc.) with focus on non-resident and resident alien planning; and matters related to probate and ancillary probate filings.
Professional and Community Affiliations
- Always Dream Foundation (Director)
- American Bar Association (Real Estate Section)
- American Immigration Lawyers Association (2005-2017)
- American Heart Association (Volunteer, 34th Annual Golf Classic Committee – 2008)
- Hawaii American Immigration Lawyers Association (2005-2017)
- Hawaii Aloha Life Enrichment Association (Member/Director 2007-present, Executive Committee 2015-present)
- Hawaii State Bar Association (1988-present, Director 2010-2011), Mentor/Mentee Committee (2010), Awards Committee (2012)
- Hiroshima Kenjikai (Member 1996-present, Director 1997-present)
- U.S. Japan Council (Member 2012-present)
- Honolulu Japanese Chamber Charitable Corporation (Director 2014-2019)
- Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce (Member 2005-present, Chair 2011-2012, Vice Chair 2007-2010, Board of Directors 2005-2012, Chair-International Business Development Committee 2006-2010)
- Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (Member 2013-present; Chair 2016-2018; 2014-2016 Board of Directors, Co-Chair Fundraising and Membership Committee/Facilities Committee)
- Pan Pacific Festival (Chair, 2014-present)
- Japan-America Society of Honolulu (Member, 1992-present)
- Japanese Women’s Society Foundation (Member 2013-present, Co-Chair, Women’s Leadership Summit, Feb 2014)
- Kizuna Group-Gannenmon Committee Co-chair (2018)
- Meritas, Board of Directors (1998-2000)
- Mid Pacific Country Club (1992-2007, By-Laws Committee 1996-2003, Legal Committee 2001)
- National Association of College and University Attorneys (2000-2001)
- Office of International Affairs Advisory Council (2009)
- Pacific Asian Affairs Council (1998-2003)
- Pacific Business News, Women Who Mean Business (Finalist, 2010)
- Royal Iolani Condominium Association (Board of Directors, 1996-2005)
- Seiwa Juku (2011-2014)
- Shufu Society of Hawaii (Honorary Director 2020)
- Supreme Court Committee on Court Interpreters & Language Access (Member 2000-present; Co-Chair June 2011-August 2018)
- Tau Productions (Director)
- United Japanese Society (Member 1996-present; Chair 2012-2013)
- Waialae Country Club (Member 1997-present, Board of Directors 2020-2022)
- Arancino Restaurants
- Clathas LLC
- Hawaii Tokai International College
- Honbushin International Center
- Ito-en Hawaii
- Kinsen Co., Ltd.
- Kintetsu Hawaii
- Minamoto Kitchoan
- Restaurant Tsukeneya
- Try Group
- Upfront Group