USA: Advancing Hawaii’s Sister State & Sister City

On March 9th, Mr. Koyamada participated as a main keynote speaker for the event "Japan Currents: Sister State & Sister City Relationships Exploring Current Possibilities for Collaboration" at the Halekulani Hotel in Honolulu, organized by the Japan America Society of Hawaii (JAS Hawaii) in collaboration with KIF USA and sponsored by the Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C. and the National Association of Japan America Societies (NAJAS)

At the event, JAS Hawaii President Reyna Kaneko first warmly welcomed the audience to the event and recognized the distinguished guests and JAS Hawaii Board members, followed by a number of warm remarks by JAS Hawaii Chair Steve Sombrero, Hawaii Governor David Ige, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Japan's Consul General Koichi and NAJAS President Peter Kelley.

To begin the program, Ms. Kaneko turned over the microphone to Ms. Barbara Tanabe, JAS Hawaii Board Director and Owner of Hoakea Communications, who served as the moderator.

At first, Ms. Tanabe welcomed the keynote speaker Mr. Koyamada who shared his personal experience and stories in sister relationships both nationally and internationally as the first Japanese national board member of Sister Cities International (SCI), which was founded by the U.S. President Eisenhower in 1956 with over 400 member cities and states that represent over 2,000 sister cities partnerships in over 140 countries.

As the KIF co-founder and chairman, Mr. Koyamada also shared the activities KIF has taken in its people-to-people grassroots activities globally and particularly in Japan and the United States and expressed the importance of continuing its efforts and also explained how a new collaboration between SCI and KIF work and have accomplished to advance the bilateral U.S.-Japan sister cities partnerships at the national level.

The moderator Tanabe also welcomed Mr. Paul Yonamine, Chairman and CEO of Central Pacific Financial Corp. and Executive Chairman of Central Pacific Bank, who talked about Hawaii-Japan sister cities partnerships and emphasized the values of sister cities relationships.

After the program was completed, Mr. Koyamada joined the group photo with the distinguished guests and JAS Hawaii leaderships.

Koyamada says, "It is always nice to be back to Hawaii! I was very pleased and honored to support the program of JAS Hawaii on sister cities, especially on bilateral relationships between the United States and Japan. It is also great to know that Hawaii Governor Ige and Honolulu Mayor Caldwell are passionate about their sister cities partnerships. Oh, foods and rainbows were fantastic! Aloha!"

You can read more about JAS Hawaii at their official website and read more about the event here.