Iolani Palace donates more than $5,000 to support Japan

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Friends of Iolani Palace has donated $5,342.34 to assist in the relief efforts in Japan.

As a result of the natural disasters that hit Japan in March, the palace decided to set aside one dollar from each docent and audio tour during the month of April to help the people of Japan.

In addition, $179.34 was donated by palace visitors.

All the monies collected will be sent to the U.S.-Japan Council Earthquake Relief Fund, which in turn will distribute 100 percent of all monies to Japanese non-governmental organizations working directly in the disaster areas.

The close relationship between the Hawaiian Kingdom and the Japanese Empire dates back to the Treaty of Friendship in 1867 during the reign of Kamehameha IV; however, it was during King Kalkaua's visit to the court of the Meiji Emperor in 1881, during his around the world tour, that brought the two nations closer together.

This association would later set the stage for mass immigration of Japanese laborers known as "Kanyaku Imin" or government contract workers to Hawai'i between 1885 and 1894.