Unfortunate death for Japanese official visiting Hawaii

Beachgoers enjoy their day at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec. 25, 2013.

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

HONOLULU -- A Japanese deputy mayor visiting Hawaii to establish a sister-cities relationship with Honolulu died after he was pulled from waters off popular Waikiki Beach.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports 63-year-old Takehiko Kimura, the deputy mayor of Chigasaki, died Saturday morning.

Honolulu City Council Chairman Ernie Martin says Kimura had been encouraging Honolulu to enter a sister-city relationship for about a year. He had made at least three trips to Hawaii.

The mayor of Chigasaki, a city southwest of Tokyo, signed the sister-city agreement Friday.

Martin says Kimura was scheduled to fly home Saturday night and had decided to spend the day surfing.

Kimura was found unresponsive in the water at about 8 a.m. and pronounced dead at a local hospital.

An autopsy didn't immediately determine a cause of death.