Thursday, August 2, 2012

Richmond to welcome 17 Japanese Little League Baseball team players for 18th Richmond City Council Sister Cities Richmond-Saitama International Junior Baseball Exchange: Return to games for first time since 2010 - As 2011 canceled due to tragic earthquake and tsunami

Richmond City Council – Richmond City Hall - 900 E. Broad Street, Suite 200 - Richmond, VA  23219 - www.council.richmondva.gov

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Thursday, 2 August 2012

Richmond to welcome 17 Japanese Little League Baseball team players for 18th Richmond City Council Sister Cities Richmond-Saitama International Junior Baseball Exchange: Return to games for first time since 2010 - As 2011 canceled due to tragic earthquake and tsunami

Entire community invited and encouraged to attend events

WHAT              (Richmond, Virginia U.S.A.) --The Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission welcomes the Saitama, Japan Junior Baseball Team to Richmond for the 18th Richmond-Saitama International Baseball Exchange. This exchange marks the return to the exchange for the first time since 2010, as the 2011 events were canceled due to tragic earthquake and tsunami that severely impacted Japan. The events are free and open to the public and the entire community is invited and encouraged to attend.

                              During their week-long stay, the little leaguers will enjoy international cultural exchange and play baseball games with Little League in the Richmond area. The visiting Saitama team will include 17 players, one City Official, four coaches and an emergency technician.

                              The first baseball exchange began in Richmond in 1994 and rotates each year (missing 2011 due to the tragic earthquake and tsunami that severely impacted Japan) from Richmond to Saitama. The visit, games and friendships fostered during the little leaguers’ visit to Richmond are sterling examples of the partnership and collaboration between Richmond and Saitama, one of Richmond’s six international Sister City relationships.

WHEN/            Public Schedule
WHERE           
                        Friday, August 3, 2010 - Official Richmond Welcome
                        Richmond City Council Chambers, Richmond City Hall, 2nd floor;
                        900 E. Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia

·    9:00 a.m.  Richmond Welcome Ceremony and Tour

Richmond, Virginia - Participants
·         The Honorable Bruce W. Tyler, Councilman, Richmond City Council, West End 1st Voter District
·         The Honorable Marty Jewell, Councilman, Richmond City Council, Central 5th Voter District
·         Suzette Denslow, Mayor's Chief of Staff, Richmond Mayor's Office

Saitama, Japan Delegation
·         Delegation Head - Yoshio Oomori
·         Chief Instructor - Haruo Shimizu 
·         Coach -  Akihiro Machida 
·         Coach -   Akio Mizunuma  
·         Team Manager -  Yoshio Hayashi 
·         Emergency Life Saving Technician -  Tadaomi Kikugawa 
·         17 Baseball team members

·   10:00 a.m. Tour of Virginia State Capitol and Old City Hall
·   11:30 a.m. Lunch on Richmond City Hall Observation Deck
·   12:30 p.m. Depart for Rockville Ball Field, Pouncy Track Rd. for game

                        Monday, August 6, 2012 – Baseball Game
Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Byrd Park Field; 600 S. Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia

·   10:00 a.m. Baseball Game
·   1:00 p.m. Baseball Game

                        Tuesday, August 7, 2012 – Baseball Game
Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Byrd Park Field; 600 S. Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia

·   10:00 a.m. Baseball Game
·   1:00 p.m. Baseball Game
                       
Wednesday, August 8, 2012 – St. Christopher's School Community Garden
                        Dedication Ceremony
Dedication of plaque for trees donated by Saitama to St. Christopher's School Community Garden
St. Christopher's School, 711 St. Christopher's Road, Richmond, Virginia 23226

WHO               Richmond City Council
                        Richmond Office of the Mayor
                        Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission
                        Saitama, Japan Junior Baseball Team

CONTACT      For more event information, please contact: Miss Catherine E. Nexsen, Chairman, Saitama, Japan-Richmond Committee, Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission, at 804.355.2780 (tel), or saitamajapanrichmondvirginia@yahoo.com (email); or Susan Nolan, Chairman, Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission, at 804.690.3473 (mobile), or susannolan@verizon.net (email).


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.

      On June 23, 2012, three educators visited Richmond from Saitama, Japan for two weeks as part of Richmond Sister Cities Commission Educational Exchange program. That marks the 13th year of this successful educational exchange program which began in 1998.

      In March of this 2012, 10 high school students and two teachers from Urawa Municipal High School in Saitama, Japan visited Richmond to as part of a week-long Richmond Sister Cities Commission Educational Exchange program.

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
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804.335.4054 (mobile)
804.937.1386 (home/mobile)
804.646.5468 (fax)
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