(BIVN) – Governor David Ige is heading to Japan for a week-long visit. Lieutenant Governor Josh Green will serve as acting governor while Gov. Ige is away.
The Governor is leading a Hawaiʻi delegation “to encourage and expand travel to the Hawaiian Islands as the world slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic,” a news release stated.
From the State of Hawaiʻi:
The governor will meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida; the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry; the Minister of Foreign Affairs; and travel industry partners to reestablish the relationship between Hawaiʻi and Japan.
“Japan is our most important international source of travelers to Hawaiʻi, and we look forward to rekindling our relationship. Overall, international travel is much less than it was pre-pandemic. 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,” said Gov. Ige.
The governor will also meet with Japanese leaders to discuss economic development and renewable energy.
“Japan is committed to the United Nation’s sustainable development goals which includes clean energy. They want to learn from Hawaiʻi, which is a leader in renewable energy, and the first state in the U.S. to set a 100% renewable energy goal. Both Hawaiʻi and Japan would benefit from joint research, dialogue, and exchange, and working together to achieve our goals more quickly and efficiently,” Ige said.
Gov. Ige will be accompanied by First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige; Mike McCartney, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism; John De Fries, president & CEO Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority; George Kam, chair, Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority; and House Speaker Scott Saiki.
The news release says the governor is scheduled to return to Honolulu on Friday, May 13.