Sister and friendship cities
Kashiwa City conducts youth exchange programs with four overseas sister and friendship cities (Torrance, Guam, Chengde, and Camden), and has conducted friendship and goodwill activities such as citizen-level exchanges as part of anniversary events for several decades.
■■■2023 Torrance Delegation Kashiwa Youths Return Report ■■■
Students (high school and university students) who visited the sister city, Torrance, U.S.A. this year will share their valuable experiences with accompanying video.
Date & Time: Sunday, November 19, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Registration from 1:30 p.m.)
Place: Palette Kashiwa Open Space
Registration: Not required, please come directly to the venue on the day.
Citizens' Delegation Tour to Torrance to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Sister City Affiliation (2/16-2/23)
A total of 44 Kashiwa citizens, including Mayor Kazumi Ota, City Council Chair, Mr. Norihito Tsumuraya, city
officials, and some of the members of the Kashiwa International Relations
Association, visited Torrance in California on February16 to 23. The visitors
received a hearty welcome from Mayor George Chen of Torrance, as well as
Torrance Sister City Association members, and many other citizens.
At the welcoming ceremony in front of the City Hall, many city employees welcomed us by waving the small national flags of Japan and the U.S., and the Torrance citizen's chorus sang the national anthems of the two countries. They made us feel deeply grateful for the peace relationship. As was customary, a commemorative cherry tree planting was held on the City Hall grounds. At the Torrance Art Museum, a special exhibition by Japanese and Japanese American artists was being held to celebrate our 50th anniversary. At Torrance North High School, which is the sister school of Kashiwa Municipal High School, the students also sang the national anthems of both countries for us. At lunch time, we enjoyed conversations in Japanese with the high school students who were taking Japanese language classes. After lunch, they gave us a school tour of their large campus, where 1, 800 students study. That evening, the delegation was divided into two groups: the Mayor's Dinner group and the Home Visit group. At the home visit, the visitors made new friendships with the newly acquainted families. At the picnic in Wilson Park, all of us wore the yellow sister city T-shirts and renewed old friendships. There was even a reunion of a former Kashiwa exchange student and his Torrance host family member, who had not seen each other in decades. On the last day, the Sayonara Banquet featured the 50th anniversary signing by the two mayors, and we paid tribute to Mikko Haggott Henson, who passed away last year and was instrumental in the establishment of the sister city agreement. We pledged to further strengthen the ties between the two cities. A delegation from Torrance is scheduled to visit Kashiwa this October.
In the process of discussing a sister club relationship with a U.S. city, the Kashiwa Lions Club advised Kashiwa City and the City Council in June 1970 that "a sister relationship with a similar city in the United States”, would be desirable for the cultural improvement of Kashiwa City. Later, in November 1971, at the Pacific Asian Cities Conference in Hawaii, the two mayors exchanged opinions on sister city affiliation.
Then, in January 1972, Torrance City proposed a sister city affiliation to Kashiwa City. At a meeting of the Kashiwa City Council members held in January 1973, the sister city affiliation was approved. Following this, the mayors of both cities signed the agreement in Torrance on February 20, 1973.
In January 1980, when the Japan-China Friendship Kashiwa citizens' delegation led by Kashiwa City Mayor visited China, Mr. Sun Ping-hua, Secretary General of China-Japan Friendship Association, introduced Chengde City to the delegation. This led to a series of exchanges of opinions between the two cities, and three years later, on November 1, 1983, a friendship city agreement was signed in Kashiwa.
The exchange with Guam started through the Kashiwa Festival. Miss Kashiwa was awarded a trip to Guam as a supplementary prize, and since 1985, Miss Guam and a representative of the Guam Visitors Bureau have participated in the Kashiwa Festival. The Kashiwa Green Lions Club and the Marianas Lions Club of Guam became sister clubs in February 1990, and exchanges deepened through youth exchange programs, etc. In May 1991, a petition requesting a goodwill alliance between Kashiwa City and the Guam government was submitted and adopted by the regular city council of Kashiwa in June 1991. The petition was adopted by the city council in June 1991. The mayor of Kashiwa City wrote to the governor of Guam in July 1991, and the governor readily agreed to a friendship city affiliation. On November 30,1991, the signing of the friendship city agreement took place in Guam.
In September 1989, Shonan International Friendship Association (SIFA) was established at the call of Shonan Town. In response to the call for a sister city abroad, SIFA conducted its own research and survey of the town’s residents, and as a result, the town of Camden emerged. After Mayor Camden came to Shonan Town in June 1993, 10 junior and senior high school students from Shonan experienced a 13-day homestay in Camden for the first time in August 1994. In November, 57 band members from Camden High School came to Shonan to perform and do a homestay. Since then, many exchanges have taken place, and in April 1997, a friendship city agreement was signed between Shonan and Camden. In 2005, after the merger of Kashiwa City and Shonan Town, Camden became a friendship city of Kashiwa.
Youth Exchange Program
The Torrance, Camden, and Chengde exchange programs have been cancelled for the year 2021.