Consulate-General of Japan in Houston


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June 3-7, 2013

Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Houston-Chiba Sister-City Partnership: Official Visit of Sister-City Delegation from Chiba City

In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Chiba-Houston sister-city relationship, City Council Member the Honorable Ed Gonzales, representing the Mayor’s office and City of Houston, headed the delegation to visit Chiba City with a number of prominent faces from Houston in March 2013.  The visit was another project to celebrate the sister-city relationship between the City of Chiba and the City of Houston. The trip was made possible by the Japan-America Society of Houston and other Houstonians who coordinated the details of the visit and extended generous support.  The delegation made a courtesy call on Mayor Toshihito Kumagai of Chiba, deepening the sister-city partnership through the visits to a local school, and other cultural exchanges.

In June, the Honorable Toshiyuki Ogawa, Chairperson of the Chiba City Assembly together with City Council member Hiroaki Kawamura visited Houston from June 3 to 7, 2013 on the reciprocal visit. The party visited the Houston City Council meeting on the June 4. At the session Mayor Parker declared the day to be "Houston-Chiba Sister City Day" and presented Chairman Ogawa a declaration describing exchange developments in both cities over the past 40 years. Chairman Ogawa expressed his gratitude for being welcomed by Houston city and he wished for continued development for both cities. The visit was an opportunity for the members to enjoy a reunion with Mayor Pro Temp Gonzalez and the Honorable Al Hoang of Houston City Council who visited Chiba in March with the Japan-America Society of Houston.

After visiting City Hall, the delegation visited the Houston technology center where Chiba had concluded an economic exchange agreement. The Japan-America Society of Houston also organized visits to NASA, the Japanese garden in Herman Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Asia Society Texas Center, and MD Anderson Cancer Center among others.

In May 2013, 23 students and two chaperones from Rice University visited Japan through the "KAKEHASHI Project- Bridge for Tomorrow ", the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ invitation program. In Chiba, the students visited City Hall and made a courtesy call on Mayor Kumagai. The students also met with their peers at Chiba University, visited Makuhari Messe, and the group had the opportunity to tour Chiba’s monorail.

The Rice University students who visited Japan also participated in the sister-city exchange upon return to Houston. The students gave presentations about their experiences in Japan to Chairman Ogawa and Council Member Kawamura and both groups attended a sushi lecture at Rice University by the sushi chef Masayoshi Kazato of Chiba who also visited Houston at the beginning of June. This trip marks Mr. Kazeto’s second visit to Houston as he visited last year in cooperation with JETRO. Mr. Kazeto was appointed an honorary citizen of the Houston city.





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