Gov. Green Spends Easter Break In Japan Courting Mindful Visitors

As Hawaii Tourism continues to navigate its own domestic recovery and the industry grapples with diminished visitor numbers, Governor Josh Green is spending this spring break week in Japan to revitalize Hawaii tourism there.

Green is committed to facilitating smoother travel between Japan and Hawaii and a “Travel Corridor” concept that aims to streamline procedures. Included is expanding Global Entry and immigration pre-clearance at Tokyo Haneda Airport later this year to improve efficiency, and convenience for Japanese visitors to Hawaii.

Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki also spoke about this and the enduring friendship between Japan and Hawaii, underscored by longstanding partnerships and cultural exchanges.

Hawaii’s governor appears to prioritize Japanese tourism over US visitors.

Even while Japanese tourism to Hawaii remains significantly reduced from pre-pandemic levels, Governor Josh Green is again focused on attracting Japanese visitors, further raising questions about the state’s approach to its loyal domestic market.

Despite the challenges posed by a weak Yen compared to the US dollar and Japan’s reduced international travel, Governor Green embarked on another outreach trip to Japan over this week’s spring break. You may recall that on his last visit recently, a talk with Japan Airlines and ANA Airlines yielded discouraging messaging for Hawaii about not expecting any significant increase in Japanese visitors for two years.

The yen suffers from chronic weakness, which diminishes the purchasing power of potential Japanese visitors, especially in light of extreme Hawaii travel costs.

There remains concern among some that Governor Green continues to prioritize Japanese visitors. With mainland travel to Hawaii remaining depressed post-Maui fire and for other reasons, questions remain as to whether Hawaii should prioritize the cultivation of its domestic visitor market first. Ironically, that is the same thing the Japanese government has done when recommending domestic travel for its citizens.

As a mainland visitor, please let us know your thoughts. Mahalo.

Image: ANA Flying Honu, celebrating their 25 years of flights to Hawaii.

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25 thoughts on “Gov. Green Spends Easter Break In Japan Courting Mindful Visitors”

  1. I boggles my mind how many incompetant politicians in Hawaii are elected. First you get Green that hates tourists and then you have Govenor Hirono that hates common sense. Hawaiians need to wake up and stop voting for people that have no clue how to run a governtment.

  2. I think the Governor needs to visit the mainland where the majority of toursit dollars come from instead of focusing on Japan. He’s sending the message that Japan is better than the US mainland and that’s insulting. Visitors would be more than happy to make reservations to visit a popular place. Reservations during and post Covid are common place for National Parks and amusement parks. The governor must not remember Pearl harbor, perhaps he should move to Japan. Maybe he forgot the meaning of United States, we unite to help each other.

    1. Beautifully well said and right on! There are over a thousand reasons in the wreckage of the USS Arizona as to why the Governor should not be going to Japan begging for tourist dollars rather than courting mainland visitors who love and respect the Hawaiian Islands!
      Aloha to all.

  3. Your headline is interesting. This whole “mindful visitor” concept upsets me. I’ve been visiting Kauai for 25 years. I’ve put a lot of money into the Hawaiian economy over the years. I’ve not littered, I’ve not been disrespectful to anyone, I’ve not pulled up plants, I’ve not harmed any animals (not even the rooster that wakes me at 5 A.M.), and I’ve even been patient driving from Lihue to Kapa’a and back.
    But here lately I feel that I’m not appreciated and because of that and the rising prices, we are seriously considering other options.

    1. John,

      Like you, been visiting Hawaii for many years. First, courtesy of the Marines, a one-day stopover in 1965. Then, beginning in the mid-1970s, nearly every year, sometimes 2x and once even 3x (research for a book about Marine Corps leadership).

      I’ll be 80 in August; one trip there, and a funeral service at the National Cemetary in November. I’ve been sick for 3 months (finally 2 MRIs tomorrow) and expect November will be our last trip. “Sold” our timeshare in Waikiki to a niece two years ago.

      I’d like to take a vaca in the Caribbean, but for the wife, it’s Hawaii or stay home.

      Take care.

  4. Wow ! Gov. Green and HTA shame on you.
    We all know your motives, reduce tourists by charging more and letting the rich,elite willingly pay $.
    Making the middle/working class feel unwanted is shameful.
    We’re both retired with 99 years of service total @ Disney. We were regular hourly employees.
    Karyn has lots of Ohana on Oahu and we visit them 2+ times every year + Maui.
    Our hearts are here and will never stop visiting but can 1000% understand the hurt and frustration Green’s policies have caused.
    The message is totally shameful !
    To discriminate against anyone anywhere is disgusting.

  5. This is the second time our governor has gone to Japan. Something is wrong. He knows he should be visiting the west coast to get business. I really don’t think we taxpayers should pay for Green and his entourage to go to Japan Twice.

    1. What I find interesting is that he was raised and went to college on the east coast (Pennsylvania), he then moves to Hawaii and seems to have nothing but resentment towards people from the mainland.

      I would like to know when this shift in his mindset occurred, where this resentment comes from and why he is so in love with Japan, it just doesn’t make sense to me.

  6. The absolute incompetence of Hawaii’s governor is totally beyond comprehension! This is stupidity on steroids!
    How did this guy ever get elected?!?!

  7. I just checked the conversion rate and it take a tad over 149 yen in exchange for 1 US Dollar. I was station in Japan in 1964 and the conversion was fixed at 360 yen to the Dollar – oh, for the good ole days!


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