City and Sister Association discuss international summit

The City of Sequim and Sister City Association met with representatives from the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington and Consulate General of Japan in July to help plan an international grassroots summit kicking off in 2018.

The group met with the City of Sequim and Sequim-Shiso Sister City Association at the Sequim Civic Center on July 13 as part of a planning effort for an international event, the Japan-America Grassroots Summit scheduled in Seattle for September 2018.

“The spirit of the conference is all about friendship with Japan,” Charlie Bush, City of Sequim city manager said.

The five guests included Dale Watanabe, Japan-America Society of the State of Washington (JASSW) executive director; Tay Yoshitani, former CEO of the Port of Seattle and board chairman; Senior Consul Murazawa, Consulate General of Japan; Amanda Suzuki, Consulate General of Japan, public outreach and cultural affairs specialist’ and Josephine Hoyne, JASSW programs administrative assistant.

The Sister City Association is a committee of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce where members and interested citizens meet regularly to enjoy cultural programs, plan activities, schedule visits and student exchanges and promote friendship and mutual understanding between local communities.

Bush said the association dates back to the 1990s and has provided opportunities for students such as an annual school exchange in the fall where Sequim residents host students from Japan and students from Sequim are sent to Japan.

He said the Seattle group is going around Washington to meet with cities that have strong relationships with Japanese sister cities, such as Sequim, to find cities willing to host visitors from Japan that will be attending the 2018 summit.

The city is looking for 10 people to host Japanese visitors from Sept. 20-23 and includes having 1-2 people stay in the host’s house, providing some meals and the City of Sequim and Sister City Association would provide transportation.

If there are Sequim residents willing to serve as host families for the 2018 summit, contact Bush at 681-3440.

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