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Celebration for Sister Cities Honoring Three 60th Anniversaries: Consul General's Commendations Presented to Riverside-Sendai, San Diego-Yokohama, and Pasadena-Mishima


Nov. 20, 2017

On Oct. 25, Consul General Akira Chiba and a full room of guests celebrated Southern California’s Japan-affiliated sister cities and marked the 60th anniversaries of three among them. Consul General Chiba praised the efforts of those involved for keeping their overseas relationships vibrant over many years, specifically congratulating the Riverside-Sendai Sister City Committee; Pasadena Sister Cities Committee, Mishima; and San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society for reaching the milestone of kanreki, a complete cycle of 60 years in the Japanese zodiac calendar. To each of these was presented the Consul General’s Commendation for steadfast and longstanding efforts promoting friendship and goodwill.

Twenty-two Japan-affiliated sister cities in Southern California – from as far as Santa Barbara to the north, San Bernardino to the east, and Chula Vista to the south – attended the reception and dinner at the Official Residence of the Consul General. They were joined by the mayors of the cities of Gardena and Glendora, as well as other local municipal or school board officials, and representatives from a few Japanese prefectural organizations. From Japan, the mayor of Mishima in Shizuoka Prefecture, visiting with a delegation to celebrate Mishima and Pasadena’s 60th anniversary, attended and gave the evening’s toast.

Various speakers at the event lauded the benefits of grassroots exchange activities, including four members of the “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” delegation, led by Ambassador Shotaro Oshima and organized by the Prime Minister’s office. Ambassador Oshima (formerly Japan’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea), along with retired businessman and Nihon University professor Akio Ogasawara, Urasenke tea instructor Soushin Ikeda, and Waseda University sports sciences graduate student Hokuto Suzuki, made informative and appealing presentations based on their diverse backgrounds. Their common theme was the value of people-to-people exchange efforts.

Sister cities relationships may make up a wonderful part of the fabric of international ties. Most often constituted formally by agreements between mayors, sister cities relationships are usually maintained or at least supported by community volunteers. From small towns to major cities, local governments desiring to provide opportunities for their residents to gain international understanding have in many cases created strong and enduring friendships, strengthened regularly by reciprocal visits or student exchanges.

For a list of sister cities in Southern California and Arizona, please see http://www.la.us.emb-japan.go.jp/e_web/bilateral_sistercities.htm .



60th Anniversary Cake’s ceremonial first cut by Consul General Chiba (center), Mayor Takeshi Toyooka of the City of Mishima in Shizuoka Prefecture (right), and representatives of the Riverside-Sendai, San Diego-Yokohama, and Pasadena-Mishima sister cities relationships at the Sister Cities Reception on October 25.
Dr. Vince Moses, on behalf of the Int’l Relations Council, Riverside-Sendai Sister City Committee Mr. Bryan Takeda, on behalf of the Pasadena Sister Cities Committee. Dr. Michael McQuary, on behalf of the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society
Amb. Shotaro Oshima "Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan" delegation
City representatives and Consul General Chiba
Reception Mishima city representatives and So. California Shizuoka Prefectural Assoc. officials.


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