Rooms on the first floor rent for a mere $25 a day, but suites on the second and third floors are leased solely by the year—at $20,000 for the top floor, $10,000 for the second. All were spoken for long ago, mostly by business firms like Firestone and Goodyear. Similar companies with similar interests in auto racing occupy the second floor. All suites are lavishly appointed. They will be used throughout the year for board meetings, sales meetings and such.
Heavy Japanese investment in the economy of Hawaii is beginning to create an undercurrent of resentment there, though Hawaii actually invited the invasion a few years ago.
It seems the Japanese have gone too far by buying up golf courses that formerly had been open to the public. In the past year alone they have picked up four courses, along with thousands of acres of land and numerous hotels. At the moment Japan's stake in Hawaii is estimated at almost $200 million and rising rapidly. Result: a growing atmosphere of racial prejudice among a people who hitherto had genially welcomed all comers.
When Japan-based firms bought the Hawaii Country Club and what is now the Pearl Country Club, both on Oahu, public golfers feared the new owners would turn them into private Japanese clubs. The newcomers have denied any such intention.
Then a Japanese company, Daiichi Kanko, bought the Makaha Valley Inn, some apartments and two golf courses in western Oahu. Makaha West is one of Hawaii's most beautiful courses. Makaha East is a lesser attraction. Indignation rose when the new owners closed Makaha West to the public, allowing only hotel guests and condominium residents to use the facility.
Just "a misunderstanding," it was explained, but a check at the Makaha West pro shop confirmed the shutdown. The position was later modified in a statement that said the public would be allowed on the course until such time as Makaha Inn is full of paying guests.
Whether Hawaiians like it or not, the Japanese are back, richer than ever, and digging heavily into the islands' economy. From one of the recent purchases—the former Francis I. Brown golf course, now the Pearl Country Club—one may take in, sprawled gloriously below, a panoramic view of Pearl Harbor.
HERESY IN THE BARN
The suggestion has been made, and not lightly, that thoroughbred horses be permitted to choose their mates and breed at will. It comes from none other than the Louisville Times in an editorial captioned "Humanizing horse breeding." The writer is anonymous, which would seem to be a sensible precaution in Kentucky. Nevertheless, he raises an engaging point.