October 2, 2008
For Immediate Release from the County of Maui
Sister City Visitors Welcomed from Fukuyama, Japan
Fukuyama City Mayor Akira Hada is greeted by County of Maui Managing Director Sheri Morrison. The 45-member Sister Cities delegation from Fukuyama, Japan practices
their "shaka" sign. The 45-member delegation will join in the festivities at the 2008 Maui County Fair parade, and participate in peace ceremony.
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii- A delegation from Maui County’s newest Sister
City, Fukuyama City, arrived Wednesday from Japan, the Office of the
Mayor announced. The 45-member group includes the Mayor of Fukuyama
City, Mr. Akira Hada, the city’s Vice Mayor, several Council members,
officials from the Fukuyama Chamber of Commerce and the Fukuyama
Products Coalition, as well as residents, hula dancers and a news
reporter. Maui County is Fukuyama’s first U.S. Sister City.
The group will tour local farms, visit with senior citizens, host a tea
ceremony, and meet with Mayor Charmaine Tavares for a special
rose-planting ceremony and Mayor’s reception at the County Building.
The reception will feature shave ice, lei-making demonstrations, hula,
entertainment and local items for sale.
The rose-planting ceremony at the Peace Pole is in honor of Fukuyama
City, which is located in Hiroshima Prefecture and is known as the Rose
City. A thousand rose seedlings were planted to boost the spirits of
residents after the city was destroyed by an air attack in 1945. The
resulting blooms transformed the urban landscape and are now the focal
point of the city’s annual “Rose Festival” each May.
The Fukuyama visitors will also participate in the County Fair by
dancing hula in the parade and hosting a Fukuyama Chamber of Commerce
booth in the Better Living tent with food products, home décor items,
snacks and geta slippers for sale.
About Fukuyama City, Japan:
- Officially became a Sister City of the County of Maui on February 11,
2008. The Fukuyama Chamber of Commerce had previously been a Sister
Chamber with Maui Japanese Chamber of commerce for 10 years.
- The second largest city in Hiroshima Prefecture, Fukuyama has a
population of 426,795 and has seen tremendous growth in the past 10
- As the population grew and the economics of Japan changed, Fukuyama
shifted from being a steel town to a commercial, industrial and
communications center. It produces machinery, electronics and rubbers,
along with such culturally traditional items as the koto harp, geta
Japanese sandals and many textile products including the art of dyeing.
- Agriculture is another very large industry in Fukuyama, with crops
similar to those grown on Maui such as persimmons, strawberries, onions,
lettuce and carrots. The produce grown is sold on a national level and
allows many farmers to make a substantial living through agriculture.
- Fukuyama boasts a large Solid Waste and Recycling Center and is
considered an emerging force in the areas of sustainable technologies.
- Education is important in Fukuyama-- the city has 70 elementary
schools, several dozen junior high schools and 20 high schools; Fukuyama
University was founded in 1975 and has a student body of 5,500.
- Located in Hiroshima Prefecture of the Chugoku region on Honshu
(Japan’s largest island), Fukuyama enjoys a “Seto Island Sea Coastal
Climate,” which is mild throughout the year and rarely suffers from
natural disasters such as typhoons.
For more information on the delegation’s visit, contact the County of
Maui Office of Economic Development at 270-7710. To learn about more official information about Maui County’s sister cities, visit www.mauicounty.gov and click on “Office of Economic Development” under the Mayor’s tab.
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