Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sister Cities


Welcome back to



click on photos to enlarge! "You can kid the world. But not your sister."
Charlotte Gray

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel beckons.

"A sister smiles when one tells one's stories - for she knows where the decoration has been added."
Chris Montaigne

Punchbowl Crater stands sentinel behind Royal Elementary School

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
Attributed to a 4-year-old named Lauren

"In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips."

Honolulu and Hiroshima are celebrating 50 years as Sister Cities!

The two municipalities have been sibling cities since June 15, 1959; It is a relationship that began with the "People to People Program" of President Dwight Eisenhower, promoting peace and mutual understanding.

A delegation from Hiroshima was in our town recently to observe the anniversary.

"5o years of friendship have built reciprocal tourism and economic opportunities," said Wayne Miyao, president of Honolulu Hiroshima Kenjin Kai and chairman of Hiroshima Hawaii Sister State Committee.

"World War II started in the Pacific in Hawaii with Pearl Harbor and ended in Hiroshima tragically. We are forever linked in war; so we should be linked in peace and in business and culture," said Miyao, a Big Island (Hawaii) resident who traces his ancestral roots to Okinawa.

The recent three-day visit by Hiroshima's 40-plus member delegation concluded at Honolulu City Hall with a signing ceremony renewing the relationship. Hiroshima's tourism division also hosted an exhibit at Windward Mall and entertained at Ala Moana Center.

This highly publicized visit by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and his delegation, followed by a stopover by the Japanese emperor himself, should help encourage Japanese travelers to visit the islands.

"There's a lot of caution being exercised by Japanese visitors due to the economy and swine flu," Honolulu's Mayor Hannemann said. "Having high-ranking Japanese visitors come to our city helps dispel concerns."

Honolulu is to send our own delegation to Japan in November, when that city celebrates "Honolulu Day."

Hiroshima is planning a "winter-wonderland" experience during this historic year, said Daisuke Yano, director of Hiroshima's Tourism Division, who was in our town for the observance.

"Since Honolulu does not have the winter season, Hiroshima would like them to visit during the winter to feel the cold and see the snow." Yano said.

Roughly 300,000 visitors come to Hiroshima annually.

No word on how many are Hawaii folks seeking a chill.

A L O H A! Cloudia