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Governor’s Office – News Release – Gov. Ige announces appointment to the Circuit Court of the First Circuit

HONOLULU – Gov. David Y. Ige has appointed District Judge James S. Kawashima to fill the vacancy on the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Oʻahu) created by the retirement of Judge Bert I. Ayabe in Oct. 2021.

Gov. Ige selected Kawashima from a list of five nominees provided to him by the Judicial Selection Commission, Hawai‘i State Judiciary.

“Judge Kawashima brings a depth and breadth of experience that will benefit the Circuit Court,” said Gov. Ige. “I know he’ll work efficiently, and I’m confident that he both understands the law and will continue to treat those in his courtroom with respect and fairness.”

Kawashima currently serves as a district judge of the First Circuit, State of Hawaiʻi, where he previously served as a per diem judge. As an attorney, he accrued wide-ranging experience in both criminal and civil litigation and has served as an adjunct instructor with the paralegal program at Kapiʻolani Community College.

Judge Kawashima earned his J.D. at the University of Southern California and is a graduate of Princeton University.

“I am both honored and humbled by Gov. Ige’s confidence in me,” said Kawashima. “It has been an enormous privilege to serve with the judiciary, and I look forward to expressing my appreciation for this responsibility as I meet with our esteemed senators in the weeks to come.”

Judge Kawashima’s appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.



Media Contact:

Cindy McMillan

Communications Director

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0012

[email protected]