LIHUE — None of the 12 students have been to Kauai before, and with the help of Kauai Film Commissioner Art Umezu, they were anxious to see the ocean.
The dozen students, five from Suo Oshima County and seven from Iwakuni City, were accompanied by two chaperones, and arrived ahead of the dignitaries who will be celebrating its 50th anniversary relationship today.
“We welcome you to Kauai,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. during the Wednesday afternoon meeting. “This might be your first time here, but you probably have cousins, parents, or grandparents who have visited us. It is important for young people such as yourselves to visit and connect with our young people because you are our future.”
Carvalho said it is also important for families to connect because of the relationship Kauai will celebrate with Suo Oshima and Iwakuni.
The students, five high school and seven middle school, will be staying with five host families from Thursday through Saturday before returning to Japan.
Ricky Oshita and Joshua Agpaoa of the Kauai High School Japanese Club served as junior hosts to the Japanese delegation, who sported new red and blue aloha print shirts created especially for their trip to Hawaii.
The students, before leaving Saturday, will be performing during the Matsuri Kauai at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.