Maui Business

Hawaiʻi Hosts First Ever Economic Summit with Leaders from Japan

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The first ever Japan-Hawaiʻi Economic Summit will be held in Kona, Hawaiʻi from May 9 to 11, 2017, officials announced.

(L-R) Dennis Teranishi, Chairman of the Board at USJC, with Governor Shuichi Abe of Nagano, Governor David Y. Ige of Hawaii, Governor Heita Kawakatsu of Shizuoka, and Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki of Hiroshima at the 2015 USJC Annual Conference in Tokyo. Photo Courtesy

The Hawaiʻi Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and the U.S.-Japan Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit educational organization say the summit seeks to accelerate regional and international exchange with prefectures in Japan that have interests in and connections with Hawaiʻi.

“Hawaiʻi and Japan have a unique and significant relationship,” said Gov. David Ige. “We continue to look for ways to develop programs and initiatives with our global partners, as we strive to achieve new models for economic development, energy cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, youth, and education.”

Summit attendees will discuss shared issues and opportunities spanning business, tourism and energy, and will help forge connections that will pave the way for future collaboration and trade.

“The relationship between Japan and Hawaiʻi continues to have a tremendous impact on Hawaiʻi’s economy,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “This summit provides us with a chance to bring key leaders together to explore new opportunities to grow our economy and create new jobs.”


“Japan and Hawaiʻi have a partnership that has been built and nurtured over generations. USJC supports strengthening ties through people-to-people relationships and public-private connections for the benefit of Japan, Hawaiʻi and the continental United States,” said Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council.

Governors, vice-governors and businesses from Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Okinawa, Ehime, Shizuoka, Okayama, Oita and Nagano prefectures have been invited. These include prefectures that have sister partnerships with the state of Hawaiʻi or are part of USJC’s Governors’ Circle, an initiative that promotes bilateral economic collaboration at the state-prefecture level. The Summit will also be attended by the Governor of Hawaiʻi and other dignitaries in Hawaiʻi, as well as assembly officials, academia and distinguished executives from the continental United States.

Hawaiʻi is recognized as an ideal location for Japanese companies interested in pursuing global business activities. A number of success stories will be discussed at the summit. Hawaiʻi companies interested in the Japan market will also have the opportunity to hear about trends and opportunities to help them launch their products and services in Japan.

Summit Discussion Topics:


· Business Bridges: Crossing the Pacific to Global Success

· Innovations in Education: Sparking Global Awareness

· Tourism 2.0: Strategies to Engage the Next Generation Visitor

· Governors’ Circle Panel


· Food Fortunes: Overcoming Challenges and Building Brands Overseas

· Puu Waawaa Ranch Pavilion

For more information, and to register for the event, please click here.

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