California-Japan Sister Cities 2023 Fall Networking Event Held

On Oct. 6, the Consulates General of Japan in Los Angeles and San Francisco and the California-Japan Sister Cities Network (CJSCN) co-hosted the 2023 Fall Networking Event at the Official Residence of Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles SONE Kenko. The CJSCN’s networking events have been held a few times a year since 2020, with many attendees being members of sister city organizations, city officials, students, and businesses. 

To begin, Consul General Sone, Ms. Meg Mizutani (CJSCN President, visiting from northern California), and Ambassador Nina Hachigian (Special Representative for City and State Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State) spoke about the great value of sister cities to the approximately 50 participants representing 12 cities in southern California. 

Then, UCSD student Mr. Owen Miller (Instructor with San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society) explained how the latest new technologies such as VR (Virtual Reality) can vitalize the relationship between different cities effectively. CEO Alissa Mikey of Los Angeles-based food-tech company Cashi Cake inc. gave a presentation about their high-end Japanese confection. 

In the workshop following, attendees actively discussed their activities post pandemic and this year’s CJSCN theme, “Navigating Renewed Opportunities for Sister Cities,” as well as how to contribute to Japan-U.S. relations through sister city activities for the future generation, while involving more businesses and sponsors.  

Attendees enjoyed finger foods, including seafood from Japan, such as Hokkaido scallops, buri, and hamachi. 

Approximately 39 cities in Southern California and Arizona have sister-city or friendship relationships with cities in Japan.