Nishiwaki Sister City
Renton-Nishiwaki Sister City Committee Meetings
The Renton-Nishiwaki Sister City Committee, part of the Renton Sister Cities Association, is currently meeting as needed. Meeting topics include diversifying programming to engage more Renton residents, and exploring fundraisers to help build capacity in the budget and cover activity expenses in order to welcome the next "inbound" delegation from Nishiwaki for the 50th Anniversary of the Renton-Nishiwaki relationship in 2019. For more information or to become involved with the Renton-Nishiwaki Sister City Committee or the Renton Sister Cities Association, email Chris Johnson, Co-Chairman, or call 425.381.7069, Roger Richert, Co-Chairman, or call 206.232.1700, or at the City of Renton, email Sonja Mejlaender or call 425.430.6514.
The Renton Sister Cities Association (RSCA) is a nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Renton to enhance citizen understanding and appreciation for other cultures and promote international goodwill and cooperation through people to people relationships world-wide. RSCA programming and activities provide opportunities which engage Renton residents, organizations, groups, government, and businesses through social, cultural, humanitarian, arts, health, economic, and educational activities and events. Renton’s Sister Cities are Nishiwaki, Japan (est. 1969) and Cuautla, Mexico (est. 2001).
History of Delegation Visits, Events & Activities
2014 Nishiwaki Delegation Visits Renton
The City of Renton and the Renton-Nishiwaki Committee, as part of the Renton Sister Cities Association, hosted a 20-member delegation from Nishiwaki, Japan, in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Renton-Nishiwaki relationship (1969-2014). Delegation dates were October 18 – 20, 2014. Members of the delegation included Mayor Shozo Katayama, City Council Member Asada Yasuko, former Mayor Juichi Kishi, City staff, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nishiwaki International Goodwill Exchange Association, Nishiwaki Lions Club, business representatives, and community members.
Renton-based activities during the 3-day itinerary included visits to Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, Nishiwaki Lane, Jimi Hendrix Memorial, lunch hosted by Ted and Veronica Rodriguez at Torero’s at The Landing, and an evening social and dinner party hosted by the Dochnahl family. The delegation also toured the Renton Boeing Plant, Meadow Crest Early Learning Center and Inclusive Playground, and enjoyed a catered dinner hosted by committee volunteers and tour of the Renton History Museum. Seattle area highlights included the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Starbuck’s, and Argosy Cruise excursion to Tillicum Village for a salmon bake and traditional Native American performance of dance and story-telling.
The Official Ceremony & Dinner, recognizing the anniversary of the 45-year sister city exchange program, was held at Renton City Hall. Attendees included City of Renton elected officials, the Nishiwaki delegation, representatives from the Hyogo Business and Cultural Center, Consulate-General of Japan (Seattle Office), the Renton Lions Club, and dozens of Renton community members. During the City to City gift exchange, Mayor Denis Law presented Mayor Shozo Katayama with a model of the new Boeing 737-800 MAX with an engraved plaque recognizing the 45-year sister-city relationship. On behalf of the City of Nishiwaki, Japan, Mayor Shozo Katayama presented a beautiful grey and white concrete carved Buddha statue to Mayor Law and the City of Renton. The Buddha statue represented the message which means “always try to smile through hard work.”
Twelve members of the delegation stayed at the Renton Red Lion Hotel; the remaining eight delegates were hosted by members of the Renton community. Delegates paid for their own travel and hotel expenses. Through donations and previous fundraisers, the Renton-Nishiwaki Committee raised supporting funds to help cover delegate expenses for various activities and excursions.
2009 Nishiwaki Delegation Visits Renton
The City of Renton and the Renton-Nishiwaki Sister City Committee recently hosted a 17-member delegation from Nishiwaki, Japan, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Renton’s first Sister City relationship. The delegation dates were August 22 - 24, 2009. The Renton-Nishiwaki Sister City alliance began in 1969 as a way to encourage the exchange of ideas and culture between the two cities. Members of the delegation included Mayor Juichi Kishi, staff from the Nishiwaki Goodwill Exchange Association, members from the Nishiwaki Lions and Rotary Clubs, and business representatives.
Renton's Sister City relationship with Nishiwaki, Japan, began when a Sister City alliance was forged by the Renton Lions Club with support of other civic organizations to promote mutual understanding, cultural awareness, and good will. In an effort to enhance a Sister City relationship, the Renton City Council passed a resolution in 1994 establishing an official City of Renton-Nishiwaki Sister City Committee.
Renton-based activities during the 3-day itinerary included visiting Liberty and Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Parks, Renton History Museum, the downtown Library, Cedar River Trail, and Uptown Glassworks. Delegates also toured the Renton Boeing Plant. Seattle area highlights included the Space Needle, Argosy Cruise excursion from Elliott Bay and the Seattle waterfront through the Ballard Locks to Lake Union, Alki Beach, and a Seattle Mariner game.
The Official Ceremony & Luncheon, recognizing the anniversary of the forty-year sister city exchange program, was held at Renton City Hall. Attendees included City of Renton elected officials, the Nishiwaki delegation, representatives from the Hyogo Business and Cultural Center, Consulate-General of Japan (Seattle Office), the Renton Lions Club, and dozens of Renton community members. During the City to City gift exchange, Mayor Denis Law presented Mayor Juichi Kishi two gifts: a framed print of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park by local artist Richard Jahn, and the glass bowl created when the delegates visited Uptown Glassworks for a demonstration with artist Chris Heilman. On behalf of the City of Nishiwaki, Japan, Mayor Juichi Kishi presented two gifts to Mayor Law: an encased replica of a samurai helmet and a ceramic vase which will be displayed at Renton City Hall.
Eleven members of the delegation stayed at the Renton Holiday Inn; the remaining six delegates were hosted by members of the Renton community. Delegates paid for their own travel and hotel expenses. Through donations and a fundraiser earlier this year, the Renton-Nishiwaki Sister Committee raised supporting funds to cover delegate expenses for the various activities and excursions.
2008 Renton Delegation Visits Nishiwaki
A 16-member City of Renton Sister City delegation recently returned from a week-long trip to Nishiwaki, Japan. From April 5 - April 12, 2008, delegates met Nishiwaki's Mayor Juichi Kishi and Council, toured attractions such as local historical sites, parks, Earth & Science Museum, enjoyed local youth and adult percussion and dance performers, beautiful koto music and even picked strawberries. Delegates visited the surrounding cities of Himeji and Kyoto and toured temples, shrines, Buddhist landmarks, gardens and parks, and enjoyed traditional Japanese food and tasting at a sake brewery. Delegates, responsible for their own travel and personal expenses, were graciously hosted with home-stay accommodations in Nishiwaki.
Collectively, delegation members represented City of Renton elected officials and employees, the Renton School District, local business, real-estate and property developers, current and retired Boeing engineers, St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Renton residents, volunteers with Communities In Schools of Renton, Renton History Museum, Allied Arts of Renton, Soroptimist, Rotary, and much more.
Click here to see photos from the 2008 delegation visit to Nishiwaki, Japan.
2004 Nishiwaki Delegation Visits Renton
A 20-member delegation from Renton's Sister City, Nishiwaki, Japan, visited Renton from August 29 through September 1. Members of the visiting delegation included Nishiwaki public officials, educators, students, and service club members. The delegation visit marked the 35th year of the sister-city relationship, which began in 1969 as a way to encourage the exchange of ideas and culture between the two cities.
Highlights of the 2004 delegation visit from Nishiwaki included: a visit to Renton City Hall, official signing to commemorate the 35th year of the relationship, and City-to-City gift exchange; catching a Mariner game at Safeco Field with complimentary seats in the Freddie's Club of Renton suite; Boeing tour and gift shop; picnic lunch along Cedar River Trail; downtown Renton Library; Renton History Museum; Uptown Glassworks and demonstration; evening dinner event with live music and dancing hosted at the Lions Club Memorial Youth Park; Pike Place Market, Space Needle and International Fountain; and the farewell reception at the lovely home of Bernie and Denny Dochnahl.
Photo left: Exploring the Renton History Museum
Photo right: Catching a Mariner game at Safeco Field with complimentary seats in the Freddie's Club of Renton suite.
The Renton-Nishiwaki Sister City Committee sent a delegation to visit Nishiwaki, Japan, to celebrate the City of Nishiwaki's 50th anniversary, which took place on April 13, 2002.
In July 2001, 29 delegates from Nishiwaki visited Renton for four days to celebrate Renton's Centennial year.
Former Renton School Superintendent, Dolores Gibbons (left), and Renton Rotary and Nishiwaki Committee member, Nancy Osborn (right), volunteered as home stay families during the 2001 Nishiwaki delegation visit. They are pictured here participating in the IKEA Renton River Days Parade with delegate, Satoshi Asai (center).
The 2001 delegation poses below the "Nishiwaki Lane" sign. The street was named in honor of the long-standing sister city relationship between Nishiwaki and Renton. Nishiwaki Lane is located along Cedar River Trail Park across the river from the Renton Municipal Airport.
Renton previously sent a 14 member delegation in April 1999 and a 31-member delegation in April 1996.