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Japanese Sister City Delegation Visits Albuquerque

10/16/2017

A 46-person delegation led by Mayor Norio Tomonaga of Sasebo, Japan, Albuquerque’s first Sister City, attended a special 10-year celebration at the ABQ Bio Park for the Sasebo Japanese Garden on Oct. 15. The visit also marked the 50th Sister City Anniversary of the two cities.

Built in honor of Sasebo, the four-acre Sasebo Japanese Garden hosts a majestic waterfall, an elegant koi pond and a mixture of Japanese and local plants. Stone lanterns and pagoda sculptures dot the grounds and stone and wooden bridges straddle small streams. Noted landscape architect Toru Tanaka, founder of Portland Landscape Design and Japanese Garden Speciality, designed Albuquerque's garden which opened in September, 2007.

Bernalillo County Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley, who presided over the 10th Anniversary Ceremony, made note of the Sasebo Garden’s local popularity as a wedding venue. “It is so beautiful to see couples from our community celebrate the beginning of their lives together in a location that was originally built to celebrate our relationship as Sister Cities.”

Albuquerque’s relationship with Sasebo started in 1965 as an idea discussed over a game of golf between U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert A. Macpherson, a native of Albuquerque and Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, and then Mayor of Sasebo, Ichizo Tsuji. At that time, Albuquerque had a population of about 200,000 people, which is about one third of its current size, but comparable to the size of Sasebo. The Sister City relationship became official in 1966 with ceremonies in Albuquerque.

Since the Sister Cities program was created under President Eisenhower in 1956, the movement has successfully joined approximately 600 U.S. cities with 1,900 international cities. Its benefits can be seen, not only in greater cultural understanding, but also in creating a global atmosphere that promotes investment and economic development. Albuquerque has participated in the Sister Cities International program for over 50 years. Albuquerque has a total of ten thriving Sister City relationships. To learn more about the Albuquerque Sister Cities Foundation please visit www.albuquerque-sister-cities.org

To view a slideshow of the event, click on the image below.

Sister Cities Visit 2017

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