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Ichikawa delegation visits this week on 55th Anniversary of sister cityhood with Gardena

Ichikawa delegation visits this week on 55th
Anniversary of sister cityhood with Gardena
By Gary Luster     

This year Gardena will celebrate the 55th anniversary of its sister city partnership with Ichikawa, Japan.

Ichikawa delegation visits this week on 55th
Anniversary of sister cityhood with Gardena
By Gary Luster     

This year Gardena will celebrate the 55th anniversary of its sister city partnership with Ichikawa, Japan.

The anniversary celebration kicked off on Monday, July 10 at 186th Street School with a red carpet welcome to the Ichikawa delegates. The school’s program included songs by the 186th Street Chorus, official welcomes by Principal Marcia Sidney-Reed and other school administrators, and Gardena city officials and a welcome from Ichikawa Mayor Hiroshi Okubo.

Delegates were provided a tour of 186th Street School as well as lunch in the school’s library. An anniversary dinner was held Monday evening at the Nakaoka Center ,and was attended by Gardena city officials including Mayor Tasha Cerda and Gardena Councilman Rodney Tanaka.

“This is a great way of exchanging culture, letting them see how our communities are different from theirs and what they can learn,” Tanaka said. “They don’t call it sightseeing. They call it going out and looking at things that they can bring to Japan to help their communities to be better. They look at landscape, they look at HOA’s, they look at mobile parks and how people are traveling.”

Although the visitors were officially welcomed by 186th Street School, the Ichikawa delegates actually arrived Saturday, July 8 and were treated to visits to the South Bay’s beach cities of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach.

“Our bond with Ichikawa is just getting stronger and stronger every five years so we’re very excited about that,” Mayor Cerda said. “Based on the fact that we have a very large Japanese population here in the city of Gardena, I think it’s very important that we have a close tie with them as well.”

Before the Ichikawa delegates headed back home on Wednesday, they visited the Autry Museum of the West, the Gardena High School Art Collection, and the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute.

The Sister City movement began in 1956 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower challenged the American people to develop international relationships at the local level. President Eisenhower’s intention was to involve individuals and organized groups at all levels of society in citizen diplomacy, with the hope that personal relationships, fostered through sister city, county, and state affiliations, would lessen the change of future world conflicts.

Beginning with the Fifth Anniversary, and continuing every five (5) years through the present, goodwill delegations comprised of city officials and citizens visit their respective sister cities to further promote international relations and friendship. Ichikawa’s delegation visits Gardena during summer, while Gardena’s delegation generally visits Ichikawa in the fall.

Tracy Nakaoka, Ichikawa Chairperson of the Gardena Sister City Association (GSCA) spoke about the importance of the 55-year relationship between the two cities.

“Gardena’s sister city relationship with Ichikawa is about developing friendship and understanding on an international level,” Nakaka said. “A key motivating factor is to offer our youth the opportunity to experience a different culture and environment.  We hope it will help participants to be open-minded toward people, places, customs and traditions, foods, etc. Perhaps, they will even learn something more about themselves in the process.”

Media specialist Stuart Gorsky has put up a link with photo online at https://1drv.ms/f/s!AhxsSPj8K-EJwhN6dR0_WfvtqSty

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