Tourism and hospitality updates:

Hoshino Resorts has purchased the Onward Beach Resort Guam from Onward Holdings Co. Ltd. (formerly Onward Kashiyama Co. Ltd.) in a sale to be concluded April 10, according to media reports in Japan.  The property was purchased for 8.5 billion Yen, or about $73 million in stock shares and receivables, according to the Nikkei newspaper.

Hoshino Resorts was founded in 1914 and has multiple brands. According to Journal files, the Onward Agana Beach Hotel opened in 1992 with 285 rooms, and in 2001 expanded with a tower that added additional facilities and took the hotel to 428 rooms.

Onward purchased the Mangilao Golf Club in 2006 – currently the Onward Mangilao Golf Club, which it will retain together with the Onward Talofofo Golf Club, which opened in 2006.

South Korea is lifting quarantine requirements for those fully vaccinated in Korea from March 21, and for those registered as fully vaccinated elsewhere from April 1. Those traveling to Korea will still need a PCR test.


Changes at the top

Carmen G. Cantor is being nominated by the White House as Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs at the Department of the Interior. The nomination will now be considered by the U.S. Senate, according to a March 11 release from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs.


Cantor currently serves as Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia and took up her post in January 2020.

See “Ambassador shares insights of diplomacy in action in the FSM,” in the Jun 7, 2021, issue of the Journal for a recent interview with Cantor.

Originally from Puerto Rico, Cantor’s career has taken her into a variety of fields, to include appointments at senior levels of government — human resource management, cultural affairs, counter terrorism and equal opportunity and more. She holds a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez and a master’s in labor relations from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. She had studied widely and is an alumna of the National Hispana Leadership Institute and the Aspen Institute’s International Career Advancement Program.

Former senator Dennis G. Rodriguez Jr. has been appointed chief advisor on healthcare to the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration, according to a March 14 release.

Rodriguez was a four-term Democratic senator from 2011 to 2019 and served multiple times as chairman of the Committee on Health. His committee also had oversight in other areas. 

According to Journal files, Rodriguez led a task force which was to “Develop a comprehensive plan of action for the construction of a new state-of-the-art Guam Memorial Hospital facility at a location within the government of Guam’s footprint.”

The ensuing 2016 report came to the following conclusion: “The consensus of the members is to pursue a public-private partnership as a model to ensure a sustainable and quality facility for the people of Guam.”


National Guard VIP visits Guam, discusses NMI Guard

Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau visited Guam on March 10, visiting with local leadership of the Guard, to include Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero, as well as meeting with Guam Guard members.

Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres took the opportunity to discuss again the subject of a National Guard for the Northern Mariana Islands. Speaking at a virtual news conference on March 11, he said, “It’s becoming more of a reality. It seems we’re getting the right traction, the right support.”

Torres also thanked Leon Guerrero and Major Gen. Esther J. C. Aguigui, the Guam Guard’s adjutant general for the opportunity to have the discussion. Hokanson also visited Hawaii on the trip.


Control tower work upcoming for Saipan Airport

Bids close March 28 for renovation of the control tower at the Francisco C. Ada Saipan International Airport.

Work will include repairs to the facility, as well as infrastructure and utilities “all in accordance with the project drawings and specifications,” according to the Commonwealth Ports Authority. The contract award is due to be made 120 days from the receipt of bids, with a contract period of 420 calendar days.


NMI receives funding for food shortages and shelter

The Northern Mariana Islands will receive $345,055 from the U.S.  Emergency Food and Shelter Program, chaired by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from a variety of charities and non-profits.

“The NMI EFSP board has distributed Emergency Food and Shelter funds recently to Karidat Social Services, Salvation Army, Empty Vessel Ministries, Team Koka (Tinian), The Ohala Foundation (Tinian) and Marianas Food Bank,” according to a March 15 release from the NMI Chapter of the American Red Cross. Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds should contact Local Board chairman John Hirsh at [email protected] or 670-234-3459 for more information. The deadline for applications is March 28.


PBS Guam reduces deficit

PBS Guam ended fiscal 2021 with a negative net position of $632,000, from last year’s negative net position of $1.84 million, according to a March 15 release from the Office of Public Accountability. “PBS Guam has been able to put themselves in a positive position amidst the COVID-19 pandemic by shifting their strategic directive to pivot their fundraising efforts from the traditional underwriting and community financial support to creative and production work,” the release said. PBS Guam improved its capital assets by upgrading its equipment and infrastructure. More information can be found at



The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is mailing “randomly selected” veterans a dollar bill, with the promise of $5 for completing the Assessing Social ad Community Environments with National Data for Veteran Suicide Prevention study.

The Guam Department of Administration has received 3,115 virtual and 200 hard copy applications for the one-time payment of $300 for relief of the cost of fuel through the Prugråman Salåppe’ Ayudon i Taotao program, according to a March 15 release from the Office of the Governor.

The Biden Administration is offering COVID-19 Antigen tests for a second time. Register at  


For your diary:

The Guam Chamber of Commerce’s Business Women’s Network Committee is hosting a Pop-Up Shop on March 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Guam Chamber office in Hagåtña, which will showcase small businesses.

The GCA Trades Academy is hosting Pizza, Pop and Power Tools for middle school girls interested in the construction industry on March 26 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact GCA Trades Academy on 671-647-4842 for more information. mbj