Yuba City is ecstatic to once again welcome its Sister City, Toride City, Japan for a 25th anniversary visit to strengthen its ongoing cultural exchange, business ties, and enduring friendship.
A delegation of approximately 21 students and 11 adults will arrive in Yuba City Wednesday, October 30. The visitors from Japan will be welcomed at a ceremony at the Yuba City Government Center at 4 p.m. Since the bond between the two cities was first forged 25 years ago, Yuba City and Toride City have cultivated educational, cultural, business, community and government exchanges of over the years.
“This program has opened the eyes of many people,” said Jim Grant, President of the Yuba City Sister City Association. “However short the trips, they are immeasurably valuable in promoting cultures of peace and prosperity, and creating a more personal understanding of the traditions of both the United States and Japan.”
In honor of this years’ milestone the delegation will include the mayor of Toride City along with other city officials joining him in his trip across the Pacific Ocean to Northern California. During their seven-day stay they will live with host families, meet with city officials, tour local institutions and attend local schools, a similar offer made to Yuba City officials every June.
“My visit to Toride City this year was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I will forever be grateful for the endless hospitality and respect with which our Sister City welcomed me,” said Mayor John Buckland. “Now, I look forward to returning that warm reception by showing our guests all Yuba City, California and the United States has to offer.”
According to the City’s press release, the relationship first began in 1989 when a delegation from Fujishiro, Japan, first came to Yuba City. Yuba City sent a delegation to Japan the following year, and for nearly every year since. In 2004, Fujishiro merged with the City of Toride, which embraced the Sister City bond. Toride City is an agricultural community of 110,000 people in Ibaraki Prefecture, one hour north of Tokyo. Like Yuba City, it is home to a major river, located by a small mountain range and supported by a leading rice crop.
“Through changing economies, politics and natural disasters, this friendship has stood the test of time,” Mayor Buckland said, “that reflects a steadfast relationship and keen interest in maintaining the opportunity to learn and celebrate together. We look forward to another 25 years of friendship.”
For 25 years, these visits have allowed hundreds of children and adults to participate in multicultural exchanges that left both sides richer in knowledge and understanding. As the delegation’s adults tour the region, its students, ages 12 to 16, become the next generation to establish international bonds by attending Yuba City schools alongside their U.S. peers.
“It’s a life-altering experience,” said Yuba City Unified School District Superintendent Nancy Aaberg. “When you see another part of the world and are exposed to new political, educational and social systems, it opens doors and minds to possibilities. This is friendship that lasts years, if not a lifetime.”
Schedule of events:
● Wednesday, Oct. 30 (4 p.m.): Delegation arrives at City Hall for welcoming, flag ceremony and introductions to host families.
● Thursday, Oct. 31: Students attend Yuba City Unified School District schools. Adults meet School Superintendent and tour Yuba City Police Department, Yuba City Fire Department, River Valley High School and Sunsweet Growers.
● Friday, Nov. 1: Adults and students travel to Sacramento for tour of the state capitol and other sights.
● Saturday, Nov. 2: Free time with host families.
● Sunday, Nov. 3: 25th anniversary welcome and Halloween party
● Monday, Nov. 4: Students attend school. Adults tour Feather River Fish Hatchery in Oroville and visit lookout point at Kelly Ridge.
● Tuesday, Nov. 5: Closing ceremonies and goodbyes at City Hall before delegation departs for San Francisco.