Ige to meet Japanese PM during trip

Gov. David Ige will meet with Japanese officials next week to encourage travel to Hawaii.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, Ige will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, two members of his cabinet and various travel industry partners to “reestablish the relationship between Hawaii and Japan” following two years of COVID-related travel restrictions.

“Japan is our most important international source of travelers to Hawaii, and we look forward to rekindling our relationship,” Ige said in a statement. “Overall, international travel is much less than it was prepandemic. As our state focuses more on destination management over getting more visitors to the islands, we recognize that Japanese visitors are a priority for us because they tend to engage in the community, they’re respectful of the Hawaiian culture and of our environment. We would like to welcome them back to the islands.”

Ige will also discuss economic development and renewable energy. In his statement, Ige said that Hawaii, as the first state in the U.S. to set a 100% renewable energy goal, is a leader in renewable energy and that the state and Japan can both benefit from joint research and dialogue to meet sustainable development goals.

Ige is scheduled to return to Hawaii next Friday, May 13.

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