Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for August 9, 2005

Ushiku mayor bids thanks, farewell to Whitehorse

In the true Japanese tradition, city council received a gift Monday night from the mayor of our sister city, Ushiku.

By Whitehorse Star on August 9, 2005 at 4:00 pm

In the true Japanese tradition, city council received a gift Monday night from the mayor of our sister city, Ushiku.
Forgoing the use of his translator and speaking from a prepared speech, Ushiku Mayor Katsuki Ikanobei thanked city council for being so kind and welcoming him during his two-week visit to Whitehorse.
Ikanobei’s visit coincided with that of some Japanese exchange students from his city, and both he and the students are scheduled to depart Whitehorse today.
‘I’m delighted that I could come and visit Whitehorse and I was glad to meet mayor Bourassa.
‘We’ve had a friendship for 20 years since signing the sister city agreement and I think it’s good for both our cities.
‘I would like the see it (the agreement) continue,’ he said.
Ikanobei thanked council for hosting the students and said that he was sad to be leaving.
He presented council with a Japanese scroll as a sign of his appreciation which Bourassa accepted on behalf of the city, opened and presented to the audience in council chambers.
Ushiku is a city in Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture (province) which is located to the east of Tokyo.
The city act’s primarily as a suburb of Tokyo, has a population of 75,190 and a population density of 1276.79 people per square kilometre.
In contrast, Whitehorse has a fluctuating population of over 21,000 and a population density of about 46 people per square km.
The City of Whitehorse has had a sister city agreement with Ushiku since 1985.
After accepting Ikanobei’s gift, Bourassa thanked the Japanese visitor and said the scroll will likely be put on display in the Ushiku gallery outside council chambers.
‘I only hope that one day I will be able to visit Ushiku,’ Bourassa said.
Ikanobei, accompanied by a visiting Ibaraki MLA and their translator, stayed in council chambers for about 20 minutes following his presentation and left just prior to discussions on the Copper Ridge subdivision.
According to Sister Cities International, the sister city program is designed as a program to increase the cultural understanding between two nations.
While many Canadian cities have relationships with one or more cities around the world, Canada has over 50 cities who have a sister city agreement with a Japanese city.
Some of those agreements include:
ï Hamilton, Ontario and Fukuyama, Hiroshima prefecture;
ï Thunder Bay, Ontario and Yanaizu, Gifu prefecture;
ï Victoria, B.C. and Morioka, Iwate prefecture;
ï Vernon, B.C. and Towa, Miyagi prefecture;
ï Jasper, Alberta and Hakone, Kanagawa;
ï Winnipeg, Manitoba and Setagaya, Tokyo municipal district;
ï Halifax, Nova Scotia and Hakodate, Hokkaido prefecture; and
ï Charlottetown, P.E.I. and Ashibetsu, Hokkaido prefecture.

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