Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Richmond celebrates the 20-Year Saitama, Japan and Richmond, Virginia Sister City Junior Baseball Exchange

Richmond City Council – Richmond City Hall - 900 E. Broad Street, Suite 305 - Richmond, Virginia  23219 U.S.A.  - www.council.richmondva.gov

COUNCIL PUBLIC INFORMATION NEWS RELEASE
IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO BE FORWARDED AND SHARED
Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Richmond celebrates the 20-Year Saitama, Japan and Richmond, Virginia Sister City Junior Baseball Exchange

Entire community invited and encouraged to attend events

WHAT            (Richmond, Virginia U.S.A.) --The Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission welcomes The Honorable Hayato Shimizu, Mayor of Saitama, Japan and the Saitama, Japan Junior Baseball Team to Richmond for the 20-Year Saitama, Japan and Richmond, Virginia Sister City Junior Baseball Exchange.

                              During their visit, the delegation will enjoy educational tours and cultural activities; and, the baseball team will play a game with a Little League team.

                              One of Richmond’s five international Sister City relationships, the first baseball exchange with Saitama 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 events are free and open to the public and may include three or more members of Richmond City Council and/or members of the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission. The entire community is invited and encouraged to attend.

                              The planned schedule of events, is as follows:   

20-Year Saitama, Japan and Richmond, Virginia
Sister City and Junior Baseball Exchange
Schedule of Events

Saturday, August 2, 2014
6:00-8:00 p.m.      Covered Dish Supper
3211 Floyd Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23221

Monday, August 4, 2014
8:45 a.m.               Welcome
Richmond City Council Chambers
(Richmond City Hall; 900 E. Broad Street, 2nd Floor, Richmond Virginia)

10:00 a.m.             Tour
Old City Hall (1001 East Broad Street, Richmond Virginia) and Richmond State Capitol Grounds (1000 Bank Street, Richmond, Virginia)

11:30 a.m.             Luncheon
Bull & Bear Club (901 E. Cary Street, 21st Floor; Richmond, Virginia)
Please RSVP by August 1, 2014 to Mr. Sam Patterson, 804.646.5429 (tel) or sam.patterson@richmondgov.com – ($20.00 per person for those planning to have lunch)

2:00 p.m.               Goodwill Baseball Game
Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Byrd Bark Field (600 S. Boulevard, Richmond, Virginia)

3:30 p.m.               Tour
Maymont (1700 Hampton Street, Richmond, Virginia)

6:30 p.m.               Reception
Meet Japanese Ambassador Yasuo Saito and
The Honorable Hayato Shimizu, Mayor of Saitama, Japan
Richmond Main Street Station (1500 E. Main Street, Richmond, Virginia) Please RSVP by Friday, August 1, 2014 to Mr. Sam Patterson, 804.646.5429 (tel) or sam.patterson@richmondgov.com

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
9:00 a.m.               Tour
Richmond and Richmond 2015 Route
Mr. Lee Kellam, Richmond 2015-Japanese Delegations
Meet at Richmond City Hall 10th Street Entrance
(Richmond City Hall; 900 E. Broad Street, 2nd Floor, Richmond Virginia)

11:00 a.m.             Presentation
Richmond Public Library - Main Branch
                                    (101 E. Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia)
Presentation by The Honorable Hayato Shimizu, Mayor of Saitama, Japan

11:30 a.m.             Farewell Luncheon
John Marshall Hotel Ballroom (101 N. 5th Street, Richmond, Virginia)
         
WHO            Japanese Ambassador Yasuo Saito
                        The Honorable Hayato Shimizu, Mayor of Saitama, Japan
                   The Honorable Dwight Jones, Mayor of Richmond
                        Richmond City Council
                   Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission
                        Saitama, Japan Junior Baseball Team

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

Background on the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission ______________
One of Richmond City Council's more than 50 boards, task forces and commissions created to assist with providing oversight of certain projects and priorities, the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission was established by Richmond City Council in 1980 and consists of 13 members. It 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 cities with comparable populations, notable points of historic interest, and potential opportunities for economic development and trade.

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

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

Some examples of Sister Cities Activities _________________________________________

Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa)
Richmond’s partnership with Segou, Republic of Mali is Richmond's city’s newest Sister City relationship. Richmond and the city of Segou, Republic of Mali, 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 an $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, England (Europe)
In 2008 Richmond was honored with a visit from the Mayor and Councilmember's from Richmond upon Thames. In 2007 Richmond was honored with a visit from the Mayor and Councilmembers from Richmond upon Thames in coordinating planning and events leading up to Virginia’s 400th-year celebration in 2007.

Zhenghou, China (Asia)
Richmond continues 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 Richmond Public Library - Main Library.

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

·         Richmond has an ongoing annual baseball exchange with Saitama, which 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.

·         From August 3-8, 2012 Richmond welcomed Japanese Little League Baseball team players for the 18th Richmond City Council Sister Cities Richmond-Saitama International Junior Baseball Exchange. This exchange marked 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. During their week-long stay, the little leaguers enjoyed international cultural exchange and played baseball games with Little League teams in the Richmond area. The visiting Saitama team included 17 players, one City Official, four coaches and an emergency technician. 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.

·         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 marked the 13th year of this successful educational exchange program, which began in 1998.

·         In March of 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 (Africa)
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.

For more information regarding the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission, please visit its website, at http://www.richmondgov.com/CommissionSisterCities/index.aspx


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Steve Skinner
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 U.S.A.
804.646.6052 (office)
804.335.4054 (mobile)
804.937.1386 (home/mobile)
804.646.5468 (fax)
____________________________________________________

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.