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New Year’s Greetings from Consul General Koichi Ito

 
Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu
 
To all of the residents and visitors of the State of Hawaii, Happy New Year!
 
              I arrived in Honolulu last October and I was very delighted to discover that many Japanese-Americans in Hawaii observe New Year’s celebrations similar to Japan such as making mochi, decorating with kadomatsu, and paying the first New Year's hatsumōde visit to a shrine or a temple.  I am also pleased to note that although I’ve only been in Hawaii for just a few months, everyone that I have met here has conveyed nothing but a deep sense of warm aloha and has made me feel very welcomed in the community.
 
              Last year, there were many occasions where the Japan-US relationship as well as the Japan-Hawaii relationship was strengthened even further. These events included President Trump’s visit to Japan, the sister-state agreement between Hawaii and Hokkaido, the 20th year anniversary of friendship between Hawaii and Hiroshima, and first Japan Hawaii Economic Summit which was held on the Big Island.
 
On December 8th, the Consulate General of Japan and the Navy Region Hawaii conducted the second annual joint ceremony on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor to memorialize all the lives of both American and Japanese that were lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor 76 years ago. It is thanks to citizens of both countries that the Japan-United States relationship has formed the strong bonds of friendship that exist between our two nations today.
 
              This year commemorates the 150th year anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii in 1868 and a variety events are being planned throughout the year with help of several local organizations. The consulate looks forward to participating in these events as we think about the past, present and future of the Japan-Hawaii relationship and deepening this precious bond.
 
              I would like to convey my best wishes to the people in the State of Hawaii and may 2018 bring you much success.
 
 
Koichi Ito
Consul General of Japan in Honolulu
January 2018

From Consul General Ito on his Appointment