Bridges interviews leaders from the Hawaiian–Japanese business community to report on how relations continue to flourish today:
“As a destination spot, Hawaii is especially attractive to the Japanese because of its geographical remoteness, its close proximity to Japan, its rich multiethnic and multicultural history spanning more than a century and a half, and the welcoming spirit of aloha of its people. According to statistics, Japanese tourists to Hawaii totaled 1.5 million annually, prior to the pandemic, with 60% being repeat visitors.” — Yutaka Aoki, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu
“We see a mutual interest by both Hawaiian and Japanese residents as primary tourist destinations. So many of us in Hawaii are anxiously awaiting Japan to open for tourists and I’m sure vice versa.” — Steven J. Teruya, President and CEO of the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce.
“I believe that the people of Japan and Hawaii have a lot in common, especially with some of the core values that we share. We also are learning a lot from each other as new challenges arise. The most apparent link is through tourism, but there is much more that we can do together.” — Nate Gyotoku, President and Executive Director, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i