Memorandum of Understanding Signing Ceremony for Smart Sister City between Namie Town, Fukushima and Lancaster City

On July 19, a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony between the City of Lancaster and Namie Town in Fukushima Prefecture, to set the course for a Smart Sister City relationship that will promote joint efforts to utilize hydrogen, was held at the Official Residence of the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles.
Namie Town, Fukushima, has taken the initiative in using renewable energy since it was heavily damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. In 2020, “the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R)”, the world's largest hydrogen production station was established. At the same time, the City of Lancaster, California became a Zero Net Energy City as the first local government in the United States to generate electricity for regional demand by using only renewable energy, and become one of the most advanced regions in the field of renewable energy. In November of 2020, the City of Lancaster also committed and declared itself to become the first “Hydrogen City” in the United States.
The signing of the memorandum between the cities which are both promoting such advanced efforts on climate change, is an historic moment with an aim of advancing solutions through their mutual cooperation, and then expanding these efforts for hydrogen society throughout the world.
Consul General Muto offered opening remarks for the ceremony; and after Mayor Kazuhiro Yoshida and Mayor Rex Paris Lancaster described the efforts of both cities, the Mayors signed the Memorandum of Understanding. US Senator Alex Padilla offered a congratulatory video message saying, "We promise to support the bold actions of the two cities to move to sustainable energy sources." Lt. Governor of California, Eleni Kounalakis, also offered remarks indicating, "both Japan and California are leading the way to a future of clean energy, and partnerships at all levels of government, including at the city level, which are essential to tackling climate change." Finally, Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles County Supervisor, offered her congratulatory message, "I hope that the hydrogen produced in Lancaster will be the fuel for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, just as the hydrogen produced in Namie Town is used at the Tokyo Olympics”.
After the signing ceremony, Consul General Muto was awarded "Key to the City" by Mayor Lancaster, which is given only to those who can change the world.
  • Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles
  • Kazuhiro Yoshida, Mayor of Namie Town
  • Rex Parris, Mayor of the City of Lancaster
  • Alex Padilla, US Senator representing California (Video Message)
  • Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles County Supervisor
  • Eleni Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of California (Video Message)
  • Lex Heslin, Senior Project Developer, Hitachi Zosen Inova U.S.A. LLC 
  • Eiji Ohira, Director General, New Energy Research, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
  • Norihiko Saeki, Executive Director, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
  • Yukari Hino, Director, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Strategy Office, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Masami Miyashita, Director, Fukushima New Industries Office, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
Remarks by Consul General Muto   Group Photo