On May 9, Governor Onaga and 13 members of the Okinawa Prefectural Government departed for North America to promote the upcoming 6th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival.
The caravan will visit four cities across the U.S. and Canada, making stops in Honolulu, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Vancouver to call on local Uchinanchu in each city and encourage them to attend the festival.
Planned promotional activities include media coverage and cross-cultural exchange events with local Okinawan associations (Kenjinkai), as well as a conference with Hawaiian governor and third-generation Uchinanchu David Ige and the mayor of Honolulu to be held in Hawaii
In addition, Governor Onaga will perform the opening pitch at a Los Angeles Dodgers game alongside Dave Roberts, a former MLB outfielder with an Okinawan background who became the manager of the Dodgers as of the 2016 season. Dodgers Stadium will also host an Okinawan Matsuri Daiko (festival drum) performance by members of the local Okinawan Kenjinkai.
“The previous festival saw a record 3,125 participants from North America. Now, I’m putting out the call to see if we can get even more people this year. I also want to actively deepen exchange with local Kenjinkai by holding opinion exchanges and other activities,” stated Governor Onaga, expressing his high hopes for the promotional caravan.