East Hawaii News

Gov. Ige’s Japan Visit ‘Successful’

June 20, 2015, 7:03 AM HST
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After spending nearly four days in Japan, Governor David Ige returned to Hawai’i Friday.

Chief of Staff Mike McCartney accompanied the governor on his first international trip. It was comprised of 19 meetings and events, including a half-hour meeting with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with emphasis on Hawai’i tourism and the ease of access to the state through the pre-clearance program. Governor Ige and McCartney spent time with travel industry partners and leaders, as well as corporations and businesses to discuss ways to boost economic and business development in Hawai’i.

“It was a positive, insightful and successful trip. We were welcomed with aloha and reminded that Japan and Hawai‘i’s businesses and communities share similar values,” said Governor Ige. “Our relationship with Japan is extremely important and these face-to-face meetings were essential. Japan and Hawai‘i already have strong economic, cultural, and educational ties and we intend to build upon those ties and relationships as we look toward the future.”

Governor Ige was joined by his wife Dawn, who acted as a representative of the State of Hawai’i while visiting a sister-city school in Chigasaki. Students from the school will make their way to Hawai’i next year.

As Hawai’i’s number one international market, flights from Japan land in Hawai’I 19 times a day from six cities across the state. Each year, 1.5 million visitors come from Japan and spend nearly $2.5 billion. The visitors account for $260 million in state tax revenue.

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