New Year’s Greetings from Consul General Koichi Ito


Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu

Happy New Year to all Hawaii residents and visitors!  
Reflecting back, 2019 was truly a momentous year.  Last March, Kabuki was performed in Hawaii for the first time in fifty-two years, and I was pleased that so many people here were able to experience all of the excitement, color, and drama of this traditional Japanese art form.  In Japan, Emperor Emeritus Akihito abdicated on April 30, and His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito took the throne on May 1, ushering in the new era, Reiwa.  In the latter half of the year, the Rugby World Cup 2019 took place in Japan.  The Japanese national team placed in the top eight for the first time in history, and was cheered on by not only Japanese citizens, but by many people in Hawaii as well.
Two-thousand twenty will have its own set of significant milestones.  This year will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, and will serve to highlight, once again, the postwar decades which have transformed the United States and Japan, from former adversaries into allies sharing one of the closest relationships in the world.  The Consulate General of Japan will seek new opportunities to strengthen this friendship and cooperation between our two nations, and continue traditions already in place, such as the US-Japan joint ceremony at Ford Island, held since 2016, alongside other annual commemorative World War II events at Pearl Harbor.  And as we move forward, I, as Consul General of Japan in Honolulu, would like to ask the Japanese and Japanese-American communities, and the people of the State of Hawaii as a whole, for their assistance and cooperation in this endeavor, and build upon the foundation created by the hard work and sacrifices of those who came before.
Finally, in July and August, the long-awaited and highly-anticipated Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is set to take place.  One of Hawaii’s most treasured sports, surfing, will become an official part of the Olympic lineup for the first time in history.  Let us all come together and support the upcoming Summer Games!
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy, healthful, most prosperous New Year!
ITO Koichi
Consul General of Japan
January 2020