The Mayor and Newport City Council are inviting the public to join them at a reception on Wednesday, July 12th from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at The Edward King House to welcome members of a delegation visiting from Newport’s Sister City of Shimoda, Japan.
Light refreshments will be served and all are encouraged to join in.
Newport’s connection to Shimoda can be traced to the voyage of Newport native Commodore Matthew Perry, who arrived in Edo Bay in July of 1853 to extend a message of friendship from President Millard Filmore and an offer to establish trade between the two countries.
Seeking “friendship, commerce, and protection for our shipwrecked people,” Perry and his contingent of U.S. Navy “Black Ships” – a reference owed to their coal-fired steam engines and billowing smoke – would eventually become revered in and around Shimoda and are still celebrated today.
This year’s delegation is the first to visit since COVID-related travel restrictions began.
It will be led by Mr. Shoichiro Matsuki, Mayor of Shimoda City; Mr. Kiichiro Sawamura, President of the Shimoda-Newport Club; Mr. Mitsuo Noda, former Shimoda Education Superintendent; Mr. Hiroyuki Suzuki, Director of the Shimoda City Planning Department; Ms. Aya Sawachi, Shimoda City Planning Department Chief of Staff; and Mr. Hirohiko Sasaki, a Shimoda Junior High School Teacher along with four Junior High School Students.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of Newport’s sister-city relationship with Shimoda, a historic port and fishing town on the coast of Japan. In addition to engaging in regular cultural exchanges, the two communities have also sought to foster deeper educational ties over the years by organizing student exchanges and classroom activities.
Along with Shimoda, Newport has five other sister cities: Kinsale, Ireland; Imperia, Italy; Ponta Delgada, the Azores; Skiathos, Greece; and St. John, New Brunswick Canada.
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