Hokkaidö Prefecture, Japan’s second-largest island, and the state of Hawai‘i are now sister-states. The signing of the sister-state relationship by Hawai‘i Gov. David Ige and Hokkaidö Gov. Harumi Takahashi was held May 8 at the Hawai‘i State Art

According to the agreement, the two states will engage in business, cultural and educational exchanges that are mutually beneficial. Hokkaidö marks Hawai‘i’s fifth sister-state relationship with a Japanese prefecture. Preceding Hokkaidö were Fukuoka, Okinawa, Hiroshima and Ehime. Hawai‘i also has sister-state relationships in China, Indonesia, South Korea, Morocco, the Philippines and Portugal.

Earlier in the day, a “Hokkaido Promotion in Hawai‘i” event was held at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. It was an opportunity for the Hokkaidö government and businesses to network and promote Hokkaidö food products and tourism among local companies.

Reiko Tokushige Rogers, radio personality and president of Studio Rim Hawaii, shared her recommendations of where to visit and what to experience in Hokkaidö.

Following the seminar, guests sampled various food products from Hokkaidö, including salmon roe, herring roe and cod roe, squid somen, kelp, poultry, rice, Tokachi Wagyu beef, nagaimo (Chinese yam), scallops and various sake.

The May 8 signing was the first in a weeklong series of events. On May 9, a Japan-Hawai‘i Economic Summit was held on Hawai‘i island. It brought together business leaders, educators and elected officials from the two regions to discuss prospects for partnerships in energy, tourism and trade.


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