Updated: October 1, 2023
Hawaiian Airlines’ employee volunteer group, Team Kōkua, alongside Hawaiʻi Tourism Japan and the City and County of Honolulu, led a beach cleanup Thursday at Ala Moana Beach Park for 98 students from Kyoto Gaidai Nishi High School in Japan.
The students, who arrived in Honolulu on Nov. 16 on Hawaiian Airlines’ flight from Osaka, are participating in a special educational excursion. As a part of their trip, students had an opportunity to learn Sustainable Development Goals highlighting the environmental threat of plastic marine litter.
“I’m grateful for Hawaiian Airlines for granting us this opportunity,” said 17-year-old student Shunsuke. “It’s inspiring to see how supportive the Hawaiʻi community is of advancing sustainability efforts and I’m hopeful people in Japan will follow their lead.”
This marks the second Team Kōkua event with students from Kyoto Gaidai Nishi High School. Earlier this year, Hawaiian’s Japan-based employees joined the students for a beach cleanup at Waikīkī’s sister beach, Shirarahama Beach in Wakayama Prefecture in the Kansai region.
Hawaiian plans to establish a formal student travel program for schools in Japan to host other beach clean ups in Japan-Hawaiʻi Sister cities.
“Through our partnership with Kyoto Gaidai Nishi High School, we’ve been able to provide a unique hands-on learning experience so these students can understand the importance of caring for both of our island homes and the bodies of water that connect us,” said Takaya Shishido, Hawaiian Airlines’ Japan Country Director.