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Columbia commemorates 25th anniversary with Japanese city

Elizabeth Tontz

Columbia shares connections with many international cities, including its sister city of Hakusan City in Japan.

City officials welcomed delegates this week from Columbia’s sister city Hakusan City in Japan. The visit commemorated the 25th anniversary of the relationship between the two cities. City Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe and Chairman Fukuda Hiroshi each gave a speech renewing the commitment between the two cities and exchanged gifts from each locality.

“This year as we are celebrating our 25th anniversary of our sister city relationship, it is with greatest pleasure that members of the Hakusan International Association and I have organized and planned these tours of Columbia City,” Fukuda said.

Representatives from both cities spoke of their commitment to the partnership, which was established on March 7, 1988, as a way to promote an exchange of culture and economic development. Hoppe said the exchange has also provided a way for students from both nations to experience the cultures they are studying.

“We always involve the university because students and teachers are familiar with the language and the culture and we have exchange programs with students also,” Hoppe said.

The relationship between the two cities has allowed the University of Missouri to establish a study exchange program with Hakusan City. So far, 241 students have traveled from Columbia to Japan through this exchange.