On August 9, the District of Sparwood warmly welcomed dignitaries Consul General Hideki Ito and Consul for Cultural Affairs Tetsuya Isono from the Japanese Consulate in Vancouver, BC who came to visit, and thank Sparwood for all its support after the 2011 earthquake that devastated Japan.
“My recent focus has been on visiting cities in our area of service, namely British Columbia and Yukon, which have twin relations with Japanese cities. There are 34 cities in BC and 1 in Yukon with sister cities in Japan,” said Consul General Ito. “I have been aware of the important role that those relationships play in strengthening the bonds between Canada and Japan. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, my understanding of the value of these sister-city connections has been further confirmed as I have witnessed the part they played in supporting the disaster struck region, and I have been taking as much time as possible to visit those sister-cities and meet with their mayors and sister-city committee members,” Consul General Ito commented.
Shorty after the news of the earthquake, the District of Sparwood sent their wishes of support in a letter and some money to assist with aid. “We were delighted to welcome Consul General Ito and Consul for Cultural Affairs Isono to our beautiful community,” says Mayor Lois Halko. “Council was pleased to have the opportunity to meet, and discuss ways to strengthen our relationship with our sister city Kamisunagawa. It was very kind of them to come, and to personally give their thanks” says Halko.
Members of Council met with Consul General Ito and Consul for Cultural Affairs Isono at the District Office, enjoyed a giant cupcake, created by Sparwood’s Crumbs Cakery in the design of the combination of a Canadian and Japanese flag, stopped for a visit at the Titan and ended their day with a tour of Lilac Terrace and Fire Hall #1. The return trip included a stop at St. Mary’s Band Office to meet with Chief Cheryl Casimer.