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Sister City relationship between Hawai‘i County and Kumejima, Okinawa was established on May 17, 2011.  It is well known for its textiles, Okinawan sake and deep sea water. Kumejima’s main industry is sugar cane and tourism.

This Sister City relationship was established based on shared commonalities - Kumejima and Hawai‘i Island are two of the few locations in the world where a deep-sea pipe has the ability to bring up cold sea water, an asset with the potential to meet three of the world’s most pressing needs:  food, clean energy and fresh water. The development of Kumejima’s Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plant occurred in tandem with the development of OTEC on Hawai‘i Island. The pioneer of OTEC in Kumejima, Dr. Yasuyuki Ikegami, was a close friend of Hawai‘i Island’s late Guy Toyama. It’s OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion) plant is the only fully operational OTEC facility in the world.

Government and private industry officials gather every year to discuss further development of sustainable energy solutions as well as deep sea water related industry opportunities.

Kumejima and the County of Hawai‘i have also established a student exchange program between Kumejima High School and Konawaena High School.

Tounnahajou-Kumejima, Okinawa(登武那覇城からみる奥武島、はての浜)DSCF6544

Supporting Organization: Friends of National Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority (NELHA)

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