Obihiro, Hokkaidō - International Sister Cities

International Sister Cities

Obihiro has three international sister-cities:

  • Seward, Alaska, United States - (1968)

While on a business trip in Alaska, a (former) teacher at Obihiro's Agricultural High School, Yasuhiko Ohzono, was asked by the mayor of Seward to create some sort of cultural exchange between the two cities. On March 21, 1967, the mayor of Obihiro sent a picture album and other materials to introduce the city to the mayor of Seward. The mayor of Seward sent a message, a coat of arms, and a medal; all of which were personally delivered by a member of the entourage of the U.S.-Japan Fishing Industry Negotiation Team in Japan at the time. Obihiro sends the Mayor of Seward a wooden carving of a bear. On January 31, 1968 the resolution made by the Seward City Council arrives. The City of Obihiro also created a resolution on March 27, 1968, the sister city agreement was signed by both sides, and exchange between the two cities began. Since the Obihiro Economic Observation Group visited Seward in September, 1971, there have been various exchanges between Seward and Obihiro. Both mayors and many citizens of both cities have participated in exchanges, and the high school student exchange program has been put on every year since the summer of 1973.

  • Chaoyang, Liaoning, People's Republic of China - (2000)

Interaction between the two cities began with Chaoyang's Economic Observation Group Visit to Obihiro on May 30, 1985. In September that same year, Obihiro sent the 15 member Northeast China Friendship and Observation Group to Chaoyang. Since then various groups have made exchange visits, agricultural trainees have been received, and there has even been exchanges of craft projects between elementary students. Since 1987, administrative and agricultural trainees have made 13 visits. In addition, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) has been sending agricultural specialists to Chaoyang. At the end of October in 1999, the mayor of Obihiro at the time, Toshifumi Sunagawa, lead the Official Friendship Visit Group to Chaoyang, and he exchanged memos regarding the signing of a Friendship City Agreement. On November 17, 2000, the mayor of Chaoyang at the time, Daicao Wang, lead a delegation to Obihiro where a Friendship City Agreement was signed with the purpose of deepening interaction between the two cities across a wide range of fields, and to promote further friendship and peace between the two cities; not to mention China and Japan. The two cities have run a high school student exchange program since 2002.

  • Madison, Wisconsin, United States - (2006)

Obihiro became sister cities with Madison in October 2006. The two cities have almost the same latitude, and have similar climates. The content of the sister-city relationship has been mainly various visits to Madison regarding the field of mental health, but since the official start of the relationship there have been various fact-finding missions to and from Madison. There was even a short visit to Obihiro by two Madison area students, in August 2007. Obihiro hopes to learn more about Madison agriculture, mental health systems and facilities, and about how the University of Wisconsin–Madison runs various programs and organizations that have helped make it the university it is today. For example, the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine has shown interest in marketing ice cream and other dairy products as the Babcock Dairy does at UW–Madison.

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