Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit


Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit
May 9-11, 2017

Presented by the U.S.-Japan Council and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, the summit is a three day event being held to foster tangible near and long term economic opportunities among Japanese prefectures, the State of Hawaii, and the U.S. mainland. 

(L-R) Dennis Teranishi, Chairman of the Board at USJC, with Governor Shuichi Abe of Nagano, Governor David Y. Ige of Hawaii, Governor Heita Kawakatsu of Shizuoka, and Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki of Hiroshima at the 2015 USJC Annual Conference in Tokyo


Summit Overview

The Japan-Hawaii Economic Summit looks to accelerate regional and international exchange with prefectures in Japan that have interests in and connections to Hawaii. The summit will highlight shared issues and opportunities spanning business, tourism, and energy and forge connections that will pave the way for future collaboration and trade.

May 9-11, 2017
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
68-1400 Mauna Lani Drive
Kohala Coast, Hawaii 96743
Ph: 808-885-6622 | maunalani.com


The Summit will include approximately 200 delegates from Japan, Hawaii, and the U.S. Mainland – including Governors, assembly officials, academia, and distinguished executives across the public and private sectors. 

State of Hawaii Sister Partnerships USJC Governor’s Circle
  • Ehime Prefecture
  • Fukuoka Prefecture
  • Hiroshima Prefecture
  • Okinawa Prefecture
  • Hokkaido Prefecture
  • Fukuoka Prefecture
  • Hiroshima Prefecture
  • Oita Prefecture
  • Okayama Prefecture
  • Nagano Prefecture
  • Shizuoka Prefecture


Discussion Topics

Tourism 2.0: Strategies to Engage the Next Generation Visitor
Tourism is a major pillar of Japan’s growth strategy and accounts for more than 20% of Hawaii’s economy. Learn more about its importance to Japan and Hawaii by hearing from leaders pioneering strategies and tools in tourism and branding to stimulate regional activities and overall economic growth. The panel will also share gaps in the marketplace, and will reveal anticipated opportunities for change, innovation and bilateral cooperation.

Innovations in Education: Sparking Global Awareness
The recent slowing of cross-border trade has made it even more important to develop young leaders with an understanding and awareness of global viewpoints. In this session, panelists will discuss recent educational innovations and thinking on developing global thinkers from an early age. In particular, we will look at how advances in technology can open the doors to enhancing the classroom experience in both Japan and Hawaii to stimulate interest and knowledge of each other’s countries, while also increasing the ability to attract international students.

Business Bridges: Crossing the Pacific to Global Success
The business cultures of Japan, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland are unique. Books, articles and websites generally discuss major issues relevant to commercial expansion to new markets, but fail to provide the networking opportunities, “hands-on” knowledge, or relevant feedback to successfully do so. This panel will discuss the experiences of business executives who have generated new commercial affiliations and successfully navigated the complex path of assessing strategies, selecting the right market entry method, and coping with the differences of cultural and business etiquette in Japan, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. Business and governmental networks and resources they found helpful will also be highlighted.

Food Fortunes: Overcoming Challenges and Building Brands Overseas
With the great interest in agriculture and food from Hawaii and Japan, the importing and exporting of food between countries is expected to continue. For Japanese food companies, Hawaii provides a lower risk market to begin global expansion and for Hawaii-based companies, Japanese consumers’ affinity for Hawaii products provides a natural expansion opportunity. This panel will explore business opportunities and challenges; local sourcing; resource management; food security and safety; and rules, regulations of the importing and exporting of foods.

Governors’ Circle
The USJC has led the Governors’ Circle initiative to promote bilateral economic collaboration at the state–prefecture level since 2010. Participate in the unique opportunity to hear governors of several prefectures discuss strengthening U.S.-Japan relations on a regional level.

Renewable Energy
How will Hawaii achieve its goal of using 100 percent renewable sources by 2045, and the upcoming changes and impacts at a policy and consumer level that we can anticipate? How is Japanese technology and adoption in the sector progressing, and how do their renewable energy goals measure up? Hear from thought leaders and change agents from both markets.

A tour of entrepreneur Henk Rogers’ Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Ranch will be included as a part of the clean energy discussion. Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Ranch is striving to become a net-zero working cattle ranch on the Big Island by implementing various technologies such as photovoltaic generation, battery storage, and hydrogen fuel cells.


Registration Fees

  • General Registration: $400.00
  • U.S.-Japan Council Leaders and Friends of the Council: $350.00
  • U.S.-Japan Council Associates: $300.00


Please register using the form below. For more information on the conference, please contact USJC Associate Nate Gyotoku at nategyotoku@gmail.com.


USJC Hawaii Regional Committee