HONOLULU (AP) - State Sen. Glenn Wakai is serving as the Republic of Palau's honorary consul to Hawaii.

The Senate announced Thursday that Palau President Tommy Remegesau Jr. recently appointed Wakai to the post.

Wakai will be working with Palau to bolster the nation's relationship with the United States.

Wakai says he doesn't plan to simply attend events and smile for cameras. He says he recognizes those from Palau sometimes have difficulty adjusting to life in Hawaii and he wants to empower the Palauan community here.

Wakai is serving his second term as a state senator. He spent eight years in the state House of Representatives. Prior to his political career, he spent more than a decade as a television newscaster in Guam, Saipan and Hawaii.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.