Friday, March 16, 2012

10 High School Students from Japan arrive in Richmond on Tuesday

RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL
Richmond City Council – Richmond City Hall - 900 E. Broad Street, Suite 305 - Richmond, VA 23219 - www.council.richmondva.gov

COUNCIL PUBLIC INFORMATION NEWS ADVISORY
IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO BE FORWARDED AND SHARED
Friday, 16 March 2012

10 High School Students from Japan arrive in Richmond on Tuesday

Public invited and encouraged to attend Welcoming Ceremony

WHAT Ten high school students and two teachers from Urawa Municipal High School in Saitama, Japan will arrive in Richmond on Tuesday to take part in a week-long scholastic and cultural exchange .

The students, 10 girls, will be visiting the Richmond Area for one week and be attending classes at Chesterfield County Public Schools Clover Hill High School as part the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission's Exchange Program between Richmond and its sister city, Saitama, Japan. This marks the 13th successful year of what began as a teacher exchange program between Richmond and Saitama in 1998.

WHEN Welcoming Ceremony
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
2:30-3:30 p.m. (estimated time of arrival)

WHERE Chesterfield County Public Schools - Clover Hill High School
13301 Kelly Green Lane, Midlothian, Virginia 23112

CONTACT For more information, please contact Miss Catherine E. Nexsen, Chairman of the Japan-Richmond Committee of the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission, at 919.902.4704 (mobile); 804.355.2780 (home); or 804.784.7630 (office)

BACKGROUND __________________________________________________________________________
One of Richmond City Council's 55 official boards, task forces and commissions that assist it with providing oversight of certain projects and priorities, the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission was established by Council in 1980 and operates under Council guidelines and by requirements of the Sister Cities International organization, located in Washington, D.C.

An early champion of international relations, Richmond began a relationship with its namesake, Richmond Upon Thames, England, in 1930. In 1956 a formal Sister City concept was established in the United States of America by U. S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower's idea called for exchanges between Americans and people in other countries, with a goal of fostering peace, understanding and harmony.

The term “Sister City” is used to express a closeness that is engendered through commonalities between communities. Formal friendships are then established to promote cultural understanding and educational and economic prosperity.

For example, cities linked with Richmond are generally capital cities with comparable populations, notable points of historic interest, and potential opportunities for economic development and trade.

Globally, there are more than 2,400 Sister City partnerships in 134 countries. Nineteen Virginia cities represent approximately 50 of those partnerships. This includes seven in Richmond.

Richmond Sister City Relationships
Richmond currently maintains the following Sister City relationships:
1. Richmond upon Thames, England (Europe)
2. Saitama City, Japan (Asia)
3. Olsztyn, Poland (Eastern Europe)
4. Uijeongbu, South Korea (Asia)
5. Windhoek, Namibia (Africa)
6. Zhengzhou, China (Asia)
7. Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa)

Interest
Throughout the year, Richmond City Council receives requests from citizens and interested cities regarding its Sister Cities Program, which are shared with the Commission.

Recent Sister Cities Activities _____________________________________________________________

Republic of Mali
Richmond’s partnership with Segou is Richmond's city’s newest Sister City relationship. Richmond and Segou became Sister Cities in 2009 following the adoption of Richmond City Council Resolution 2009-R99-109, adopted July 27, 2009 that invited Segou to be a formal Sister City of Richmond, and the formalization of the relationship in Richmond on October 12, 2009 with a visiting delegation of dignitaries from Segou.

In April 2010 Richmond was awarded a $115,000 grant from Sister Cities International for a two-year African Sustainability Project that will be used to assist with performing projects in Segou that will assist with addressing sanitation, health, and water issues. On May 10, 2010 Richmond City Council received and welcomed a visiting delegation from the Republic of Mali. The delegation included six members of the country’s government who were in Richmond for the day as part of a government training program sponsored by the Institute for Global Training, USAID in Washington D.C. and were being show state and local government by the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center’s Virginia Institute of Government.

On October 6, 2010 the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission and members of Richmond City Council and the Richmond Government Administration welcomed The Honorable Ousmane K. Simaga, Mayor of Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa); The Honorable Madani Sissoko, Councilman, Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa), President of the Segou Sister City Commission; and, a number of additional dignitaries from Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa), during its monthly meeting.

Richmond upon Thames
2008 visit from the Mayor and Councilmember's to Richmond; 2007 visit of Mayor and Councilmembers. Coordinated planning and events leading up to Virginia’s 400th-year celebration in 2007.

Zhenghou, China
Continue supporting teacher exchanges and exchanges of art and culture through museums, economic trips to China (conducted by Governor of Virginia with representation from Richmond). A book collection was presented to Richmond citizens from Zhengzhou citizens, which is displayed at the City’s Main Library.

Saitama, Japan
Annual student, academic, sports and cultural exchange programs.

Windhoek, Namibia
August 2007: the U.S. State Department brought a camera crew to Richmond from Windhoek coordinated events. July 2003: Richmond donated a Fire Truck to Windhoek.

Uijeongbu, South Korea
Includes relationships with the Richmond Korean community and business exchange as well as educational and cultural programs.

The Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission consists of 13 members, of whom at least one is a Councilmember. Commission members are appointed by Richmond City Council for a term consisting of three years and no person appointed is eligible to serve more than two successive terms, although persons appointed to fill vacancies may serve two additional successive terms. Members appointed to the Commission are required to either reside or work in the City of Richmond. Originally comprised of 19 members, in 2009 membership was lowered to 13.

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______________________________________
Steven R. Skinner, APR
Council Public Information Manager
RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL
OFFICE OF THE COUNCIL CHIEF OF STAFF
Richmond City Hall
900 E. Broad Street, Suite 305
Richmond, Virginia 23219
804.646.6052 (office)
804.335.4054 (mobile)
804.937.1386 (home/mobile)
804.646.5468 (fax)
steven.skinner@richmondgov.com (email)
www.council.richmondva.gov(website)
____________________________________________

MISSION The mission of Richmond City Council
is to represent citizens in creating and amending
local laws, providing government policy and
oversight, and approving the city budget.

VISION Richmond City Council is committed to
creating a vibrant community that is a great place
to live, work, learn, play, visit and raise a family.

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