PORT Stephens Sister Cities program participants have been saying konichiwa once again as they have played host to a delegation of participants in the program from Yugawara in Japan.
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In the delegation were Yoshinori Hayatoh, President of the Yugawara International Exchange Association; Seiichi Tsuchiya, Town Councillor; and Tadashi Takahashi, Superintendent of the Yugawara Board of Education.
Nigel Dique of the Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee told News Of The Area, “The aim of the visit was to explore ways of strengthening the sister city relationship by expanding cultural, educational and tourism exchanges.”
The delegation was briefed about the Port Stephens economy, visited local schools, and the Murrook Cultural Centre, as well as visiting some of Port Stephens more iconic tourism attractions.
In respect to former Mayor and local MP John Bartlett who founded the Sister CitIes committee they also laid flowers at his grave.
The program was founded 30 years ago and is highly respected in Japan.
Anyone interested in getting involved in the Port Stephens Council Sister Cities program should visit www.portstephens.nsw.gov.au.
Port Stephens has sister cities in Japan, and Bellingham in Washington.
The Sister Cities program is a 355C committee of Council, and the Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee receives funding each year for their administration costs.
Membership to Sister Cities is open to everyone.
Annual membership is $10 adults, $5 for youth or $25 for a family.
By Marian SAMPSON