Gov. David Ige will travel to Japan this week to promote Hawaii tourism.
He will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Cabinet ministers to discuss the possible pre-clearance of flights from Japan to Hawaii, according to a release issued Saturday. Visitors from major cities in Canada, for instance, clear customs before their departure.
“We want the people of Japan to know that the people of Hawai‘i welcome them to the Hawaiian Islands,” Ige said in a statement. “Japan is Hawai‘i’s biggest international market, accounting for 47.5 percent of international travelers to Hawai‘i and the trip is an investment in that relationship. Japan and Hawai‘i enjoy a special connection, and I want to honor this enduring relationship.” He returns Friday.
The estimated cost of this trip is $9,800 for air, hotel and ground transportation, his office said. Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will be acting governor while Ige is out of the state.