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Japanese visitors traveling under the signing of the Sister State Agreement

LIHU‘E — Preparations to greet the first group of Japanese traveling under the signing of the Sister State Agreement between Yamaguchi Prefecture and Hawai‘i are in full swing by members of the Kaua‘i Yamaguchi Kenjin Kai, and the community.

“Yamaguchi Prefecture Governor Tsugumasa Muraoka has provided a budget to send many Yamaguchi Prefecture citizens to Hawai‘i starting January 2023 because of the Sister State Agreement that was signed in Suo Oshima on Aug. 27, 2022,” said Cheryl Shintani, the president of the Kaua‘i Yamaguchi Kenjin Kai. “On Jan. 16, the group, Suo Oshima High School Kaua‘i Tour and Lunch Reception will be on Kaua‘i for a one-day tour.”

Included in the group are about 60 Suo Oshima High School students, principal, and staff, Yamaguchi Prefecture Governor Muraoka and delegation, Suo Oshima Mayor Masafumi Fujimoto, Former Mayor Shiiki, Senator Arakawa, and delegation, Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami, Kaua‘i High School students, principal, and faculty, the Kaua‘i Community College International students and faculty, and students and faculty from other schools on Kaua‘i.

“The Planning Committee for this visit is led by the Kaua‘i Community College, and its instructor Kyoko Ikeda-Chun,” Shintani said. “The Kaua‘i Yamaguchi Kenjin Kai, all-around Japanese Culture Specialist Gerald Hirata, and Kaua‘i Kookies’ Ann Hashisaka. Our Kaua‘i Yamaguchi Kenjin Kai is preparing 100 omiyage bags geared especially for Suo Oshima High School students, the Kaua‘i High School Key Club students are making 100 yarn and ribbon lei for the guests from Yamaguchi Prefecture, and the Kaua‘i High School Japanese classes are making 100 origami aloha shirts to add to the lei.”

Shintani said Year 2023 marks the 60th anniversary as Sister Cities between Suo Oshima in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, and the County of Kaua‘i.

The highlight of the daylong tour by the Japan visitors is the luncheon scheduled to start at noon at the Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple social hall where a slate of Hawaiian and Japanese entertainment is scheduled before the signing of a Sister School Agreement between Suo Oshima High School and Kaua‘i High School.

A bon dance where the Suo Oshima Ondo will be introduced will follow in the temple’s yard around a yagura.

Reservations for the luncheon, or any donations toward offsetting the expense of feeding the Japanese guests can be done by contacting Shintani at chrylshntn@gmail.com, or texting 808-645-6442 as soon as possible.
Source: The Garden Island

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