Governor, mayor depart for Japan

A week-long swing through Japan by Gov. Linda Lingle is aimed at rebuilding tourism to Hawaii from the island nation.

Mayor Bryan Baptiste is scheduled to leave today to join Lingle’s “Ohana Mission to Japan.”

The mission is made up of tourism promotion officials, including representatives from the Kauai Visitors Bureau and other visitor bureaus across the state, in addition to county mayors. Travel costs for the mayors is being covered by state tourism funds. The governor’s itinerary includes a Monday meeting with the U.S. Consulate, and a visit to Hawaii military personnel based at Yokata Air Force Base near Tokyo.

Later that day the governor is to meet with SONY executives, and has said she will discuss the possibility of having a SONY-base technology fair in Hawaii.

On Tuesday, the delegation is to meet with United Airlines officials based in Japan, plus hold a press conference for consumer travel writers and travel trade media. A meeting with JTB Corporation and JTB Hawaii is also scheduled that day.

Press conferences with the U.S. Armed Forces publication Stars & Stripes, and the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun are part of the planned program.

On Tuesday afternoon a roundtable discussion with Japan’s travel industry marketing leaders is set.

On Wednesday the party is to have breakfast with U. S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker, followed by meetings with Northwest Airlines, China Airlines and All Nippon Airways.

That evening a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is set followed by a dinner meeting with officials of Japan Air Lines and JALPAK, the travel marketing wing of the airline.

On Thursday, the delegation travels to Osaka via the Bullet Train for a reception and dinner with travel, business, and government leaders.

The party is scheduled to return to Hawaii on Friday.

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