Release Date: June 26, 2012
Contact: Kathleen Koss, EvCC Nippon Business Institute Program Coordinator, 425-388-9195; firstname.lastname@example.org
Everett and Iwakuni Celebrate 50 Years as Sister Cities
Delegation from Japan Arrives July 24
EVERETT, Wash. – The cities of Everett and Iwakuni, Japan will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of their sister city relationship in July with a visit from a Japanese delegation and a dinner July 25.
The two cities established their relationship in 1962 and were among the first to join Sister Cities International.
“Creating bridges between countries and people is imperative to promote peace in this global society. The long lasting relationship that exists between the cities of Iwakuni and Everett is a wonderful example of how this can happen,” said Mayumi N. Smith, director of EvCC’s Nippon Business Institute.
A delegation of 15 from Iwakuni city will visit Everett July 24-25, including Iwakuni Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda, City Council President Hisatsugu Matsumoto, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Hisashi Nagano and additional city representatives.
The delegation will attend a 50th anniversary celebration dinner with Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson and other city leaders at 6 p.m. July 25 at the Holiday Inn in downtown Everett. The event is open to the public, but space is limited. Tickets are $55 per person and must be purchased in advance. To buy tickets, contact EvCC Nippon Business Institute Program Coordinator Kathleen Koss at email@example.com or 425-388-9195.
The delegation is also scheduled to visit Everett City Hall, Economic Alliance for Snohomish County, Port of Everett, Everett Rotary Club, Everett Community College and the Boeing Company.
A highlight of the visit includes a tree planting ceremony at 5 p.m. July 25 with Consul General of Japan Kiyokazu Ota at Everett Community College Nippon Business Institute.
The relationship between the two cities was started by U.S. Marine Corp Major E.R. (Bud) Agnew of Everett, who was stationed in Iwakuni in 1962, and Midori Sagami, an English teacher in Iwakuni.
The two men knew each other first as friends, and then as the people who would carry forward President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s initiative to create partnerships between American cities and international communities.
The importance of sister city relationships resides in the bonds of friendship and trust that form between the partners; these two progressive thinking men saw that opportunity and created an unbreakable bond that exists 50 years later. Agnew’s wife Louise was central to the effort in Everett.
The two cities have much in common. Both are port cities. Iwakuni is located on the main Japanese island of Honshu, just 30 miles south of Hiroshima, facing the Inland Sea of Japan. Everett, also a port city, faces Port Gardner Bay.
Both cities also have American military bases. Pulp and paper factories are part of both cities histories. Our newest link is The Boeing Company’s Everett factory sales of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft to airlines in Japan.
EvCC’s Nippon Business Institute maintains particularly strong links to Japan. At EvCC, local students study Japanese language, economics, business and cultural arts. High school students from Iwakuni have participated in exchange programs administered by the NBI most summers since 1996. The NBI’s Japanese garden includes a bridge made of timbers from the reconstructed Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni, built in and donated by the city of Iwakuni.
For more information or to donate to assist with anniversary celebration expenses, contact EvCC Nippon Business Institute Program Coordinator Kathleen Koss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-388-9195.