This year marks the fiftieth year of Sister City exchanges between Newport and Mombetsu, Hokkaido, Japan. On August 4, 2016, a youth delegation, consisting of Kaoru Fujimoto, Shunsuke Kita, Shie Sato, Moeka Ishizuka, Maaya Tanaka, Amina Miyauchi, Ruka Takahashi, Sumire Kotsugai, Ano Kimura, aged 12 – 14, along with their chaperones, Yoshimi Yatsu, Takuma Sato, Shunta Fugie, Mitsutaka Takemoto, and Masafumi Kobayashi, arrived at City Hall to begin an exchange celebrating this historic milestone.
The students attended a special City Council meeting at which they introduced themselves and received a certificate and gift from the city. The delegation got to experience the cultural diversity of Newport through a Mexican potluck dinner followed by a piñata on the City Hall patio. Afterward, the delegation went to the homes of their host families. This group of middle school students from Mombetsu are making a whirlwind visit to Newport. The students and their five chaperones are participating in homestays with local residents; getting a taste of what everyday life is like in Newport; and participating in group activities with each other and all the host families.
The organizing committee, headed by Ted DeWitt and Daniella Crowder, worked diligently to make this exchange a very special event for these young people from Mombetsu. Activities include a Bay cruise, lunch and shopping on the Bayfront, a visit to Ripley’s, Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Otter Rock tide pooling, picnic at Ona Beach, and a wrap-up dinner at the Yacht Club. This exchange will be the last of the fiftieth year anniversary celebrations, however, exchanges occur in most other years. If you are interested in participating in any Sister City activities in future years, contact Peggy Hawker at City Hall, 541.574.0613.