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(Tuesday, July 7, 2009) -- Mayor Mufi Hannemann today thanked the delegation from Hiroshima, Japan for visiting Honolulu to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Honolulu-Hiroshima Sister-City Relationship.


“It’s very important for us to continue and strengthen this important relationship with the people of Hiroshima,” Hannemann said. “Our cities have long-standing ties stretching back to the late 1800s, and we are inextricably connected through our heritage, family ties and sincere friendships. Our historic and cultural bond has been preserved through business interaction, tourism, sports, cultural and educational exchanges, and the promotion of peace.”


To highlight the 50th anniversary, Hannemann held a Commemorative Signing Ceremony yesterday in the Honolulu Hale courtyard with Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba of Hiroshima, Honolulu City Council Chairman Todd Apo, Hiroshima Council Chairman Hiroyuki Fujita and other members of each city’s legislative body, a delegation of government and community leaders from Hiroshima, and members of the 50th Anniversary Honolulu-Hiroshima Sister-City Committee.


“Today, as we celebrate this milestone of 50 years of sister-city relations, we open a new chapter in the relationship between Honolulu and Hiroshima,” Akiba said.


Hannemann noted that an estimated one third of the Japanese immigrants who came to work on Hawaii’s sugar plantations in the 1800s came from the Hiroshima area, and that the people of Hiroshima celebrate Honolulu Day each November. A delegation from Hiroshima also participates in the Honolulu Festival here every year.


Hannemann will lead a delegation to Hiroshima this November in furtherance of the cities’ relationship, and will speak at a business seminar to be held by the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce and the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce.


Other events this week organized by the 50th Anniversary Honolulu-Hiroshima Sister-City Committee include a photo exhibit and cultural booths at Windward Mall through tomorrow; a cultural performance at Ala Moana Center at 6 p.m. today; a luncheon presentation at the East-West Center tomorrow at noon; and a special dinner at Waialae Country Club tomorrow at 6 p.m.


Members of the 50th Anniversary Honolulu-Hiroshima Sister-City Committee are:

Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Honorary Chair; Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Honorary Chair; Wanye Miyao, Chairman; and Directors Ben Fukumoto, Wayne Ishihara, Michael Leineweber, Gary Okino, Russell Okata, Kenneth Saiki, Donald Takaki, Brian Taniguchi, Jo Anne Trask, Misa Uyehara, and Ryan Yamane.




Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Office, 768-6928