HONOLULU—Mayor Peter Carlisle has traveled to Japan on a mission to bolster Honolulu’s ties there and to promote the Counties of Hawaii Sister Cities Summit and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings to be held here in September and November.
Carlisle will visit Hiroshima, Matsuyama, Nagaoka and Yokohama. City Managing Director Douglas Chin will serve as Acting Mayor until Carlisle’s return on August 7.
“These visits will provide me with an unparalleled opportunity to discuss ways to further cooperate in economic development, assist companies looking for business opportunities, and expand logistics and tourism networks,” Carlisle said.
Hiroshima was Honolulu’s first sister city. The relationship was established in 1959 as part of an effort to promote peace and understanding among between citizens of various countries. Honolulu also has strong family and cultural ties to Hiroshima, as many immigrants from the area settled in Hawaii in the late 1800s.
Carlisle will participate in the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima, a vigil that recalls the atomic bombings in 1945 and expresses hope for international cooperation and peaceful conflict resolution. Carlisle will also deliver a speech at a reception dinner for the ceremony.
Matsuyama is the capital of Ehime Prefecture, which includes Honolulu’s sister city Uwajima. Carlisle will participate in a Hawaii-Ehime Day Celebration and discuss Honolulu’s ties with Uwajima and the special relationship that developed with Ehime after an American submarine collided with and sank the fishery training vessel Ehime Maru near Oahu in 2001.
Honolulu is finalizing a sister city agreement with Nagaoka, and Carlisle will discuss the relationship with officials there. Nagaoka’s mayor is expected to sign the agreement during the Honolulu Festival in March 2012.
In Yokohama, Carlisle will meet with local officials to discuss the city’s experience hosting the 2010 APEC meeting, and ways Honolulu can learn and benefit from Yokohama’s experience.