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Renton Sister City Delegation to Visit Japan in April 2008

For more information contact:

Sonja Mejlaender, Community Relations Specialist, (office) 425-430-6514; (cell) 206-794-3271
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director, 425-630-6569

Community leaders and Renton residents are invited to participate


RENTON--Plans are underway for the next City of Renton sister city delegation visit to Nishiwaki, Japan. The trip is planned for the week of April 7, 2008 (exact dates still to be confirmed), and is open to community leaders and residents interested in representing Renton to its sister city.  Past delegations have included members from the Renton School District, City of Renton, Mayor and Councilmembers, service clubs, and Renton citizens. 

Delegates will meet Nishiwaki’s Mayor and Council, tour attractions such as historical sites and the Science Museum, experience a traditional tea ceremony and sightsee around Nishiwaki.    Delegates will also visit surrounding cities such as Himeji and Kyoto and tour temples, shrines, Buddhist landmarks, gardens and parks, and enjoy traditional Japanese food and tasting at a sake brewery.  Delegates will be responsible for their own expenses, but home-stay accommodations will be available in Nishiwaki, making the trip much more affordable.   Delegation visits from Renton to Nishiwaki most recently occurred in 1999 and 2002 while delegation visits from Nishiwaki to Renton occurred in 2001 and 2004.

Renton's sister city relationship with Nishiwaki began in 1969 when a sister city alliance with Nishiwaki was forged by the Renton Lions Club with support of other civic organizations to promote mutual understanding and goodwill between the United States and Japan, and to encourage the exchange of ideas and culture between the two cities.  In an effort to enhance a sister city relationship with Nishiwaki, the Renton City Council passed a resolution in 1994 establishing an official City of Renton Nishiwaki Sister City Advisory Committee. 

This sister city relationship pairs two cities with strikingly similar characteristics.  Like Renton, Nishiwaki is located in a valley between two hills with a river running through the center of town. The climates are very similar and each city has three high schools.  Nishiwaki is located near the city of Kobe, which is one of Seattle's sister cities.  The Washington - Hyogo, Japan, Sister State Association strengthens the relationship between Renton and Nishiwaki.

All delegate participation must be confirmed by January 31, 2008.  For questions, more information, or to become part of the delegation, please contact Sonja Mejlaender at the City of Renton at 425-430-6514 or by email at smejlaender@ci.renton.wa.us.