The International Scene
Japan and Hawaii -- International Relatives
Japan and the United States are big brothers in international trade. They are each other's largest overseas customers.
Japan, lacking an abundance of natural resources and materials necessary for production, exports mostly manufactured goods, these constituting over 90% of its exports. Japan would like to export raw goods but instead must import almost 80% of these plus most of their food.
In the Fall of 1977, the United States began to pressure Japan to make the Japanese market more accessible for the import of foreign manufactured goods. As a result, sales of U.S. manufactured goods to Japan increased by 29.8% to a total of $6.1 billion in 1978. Japanese purchases and investment have created thousands
of jobs for Americans in all sectors. On the other side, the American consumer has shown satisfaction with Japanese products which have earned a good reputation for design and quality of workmanship.
How does this relate to Hawaii? The small islands of Japan have a population equal to 50% of the population of the U.S. It would be natural that they seek a home away from home. The Hawaiian islands have been most favored by the Japanese. Following their gigantic industrial and commercial success and accumulation of wealth, Japan began to expand most forcefully to Hawaii and the mainland U.S. They are also showing interest in Saipan and Guam. Japan is striding into the international community.
Japanese business and financing play a major part in the economy of Hawaii. They have been successful in most of their real estate involvements on Oahu and the neighbor islands. Many large stores and businesses are Japanese owned, and more than 60% of Waikiki hostelry is under Japanese aegis.
It is important to keep a finger on the pulse of Japanese interests in Hawaii -the new Japanese community of businessmen, developers, investors, and cultural purveyors. They have plans and goals which will be of paramount interest to Hawaii's economic independence and health.
It is possible that Hawaii will acquire two fathers and 1 mother: Japan, the U.S. federal government, and our state government. The new Japanese have only just arrived and are not yet absorbed into the community. By learning to work together now, the future relationships will be more balanced.
The best part of the whole relationship is that Japan and Hawaii are living together, but we must also anticipate and plan for the financial and cultural impact that Japan will have on Hawaii's future.