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Delegation Returns from Nyuzen, Japan
Seven representatives from Forest Grove returned from visiting the Town of Nyuzen, Japan, Forest Grove’s sister city. The cities began an official relationship in 1989. This year the cities celebrated the 20th anniversary of annual exchanges. Accompanying Mayor Richard Kidd on this visit were Ronald Thompson, City Councilor; Kazuko Ikeda, Pacific University Professor; Sandy Garcia, Forest Grove School District; Lisa Duncan, Tuality Center for Geriatric Psychiatry; Kelly Simpson, Portland State University student; and Anna Ruggles, City Recorder.
Mayor Kidd delivered a letter to the Governor of Toyama Prefecture, Oregon’s sister state, from Governor Kulongoski. While in Nyuzen, the delegation’s schedule included meetings with the Mayor of Nyuzen and Superintendent of Education. The delegation visited the Funami Juraken Retirement Center while in Nyuzen and was presented with two crayon art masterpieces, drawn by Taka Wakisaka, who is 102 years old and a resident of the retirement center. Mrs. Wakiska was recently featured on a local television station in Nyuzen. Mrs. Wakisaka began her artwork using crayons when she was 98 years old. Her art symbolizes her younger years and childhood memories, along with colorful objects that friends bring her, such as cherry blossoms and flowers. In addition, the delegation received a very warm welcome from the staff and director of the retirement center, Mr. Syoko Uehara. The delegation also attended a formal gala reception and visited several other important cultural and historical sites throughout Nyuzen. Mayor Kidd said, “It was a great honor to take such a diverse group of people to accompany me on this visit. Several of the members have never visited Nyuzen; this visit was definitely a visit that the delegation members will remember for a lifetime”. The key goals of these visits are to develop lasting and meaningful exchanges in many areas, including education, business, culture, technology, tourism, and economic opportunities. Forest Grove tries to send an adult delegation every other year, said Anna Ruggles, City Recorder, who organized the visit. The Sister Cities Committee develops and implements programs and activities in support of the sister cities relationship. New committee members are always welcomed. For more information about becoming a member of the Sister Cities Committee, please contact Anna Ruggles, City Recorder, at 503.992.3235.