Hawaii without Japanese tourists is an unreal feeling for almost everyone living in the Aloha State. Japanese Prime Minister Abe and Foreign Minister Motegi understands Hawaii is a different case compared to the rest of the United States and reached out to Hawaii Governor David Ige and House Speaker Scott Saiki today to discuss a “tourism bubble” between Japan and Hawaii.
Opening Hawaii to US mainland travelers may be a challenge. In New York, there had been 13,394 infected with COVID-19 and 455 deaths per million. Japan, however, only had 237 COVID-19 cases per 1 million residents with 8 deaths. Hawaii had 1,208 cases with 18 deaths based on one million people.
Japan is also considering tourism reopenings with Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Singapore, and Taiwan.
In comparison, here are the numbers for these destinations:
Country | Cases per million |Death per million population
Brunei 322 7
Cambodia 14 0
China 58 3
Hong Kong 370 3
Laos 3 0
Macao 71 0
Malaysia 275 4
Mongolia 88 0
Myanmar 724 3
South Korea 277 6
Singapore 8685 5
Taiwan 19 0.3
New York 13394 455
USA average: 13388 454
Hawaii 1208 18
Japan 237 8
Hawaii is the only destination in the United States mentioned for consideration for Japan’s resumption of international travel.
Governor Ige stated: “On behalf of the State of Hawaii, we are honored that Prime Minister Abe and Japan’s policymakers are considering Hawaii for resuming safe and responsible international travel. Japan and Hawaii enjoy longstanding cultural ties and a deep-rooted friendship that has enriched the lives of many generations. It’s important that we restore travel between Japan and Hawaii and we see this program as a way to make this possible, while also preventing the further spread of infections from COVID-19.”
Governor Ige noted that details for the Japan-Hawaii safe travel program are still being resolved and no timetable has been set for when it would take effect. The governor stressed that public health will be the overriding factor in determining how the program is carried out to support the state’s economic recovery and the tens of thousands of residents who depend on the travel industry for their livelihoods.