"Usually it comes down to the reason of race, which is wrong because Native Hawaiians are indigenous people of Hawaii, like the American Indians and Alaskan natives," said Akaka.
Akaka is known for making time for his constituents who visit Washington, and says he will miss helping Hawaii through his efforts in Washington.
"That part, of course, I won't have. I'll certainly miss it," said Akaka. "But then, I know that there are different seasons for different things and we need a new generation there."
Besides spending time with his family, Akaka hopes to become a mentor.