City Welcomes Takamatsu, Japan Mayor to Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Sister Cities Program

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Mayor Welch and the City of St. Petersburg Welcomes Takamatsu, Japan Mayor to Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Sister Cities Program

St. Petersburg, FL (October 5, 2023) - An official delegation from the City of Takamatsu, Japan, will visit St. Petersburg from Oct. 4-7, 2023 in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between the two cities.

The delegation, which includes Takamatsu Mayor Hideto Onishi and City Assembly Chairperson Yoshihito Shiraishi, will meet with St. Petersburg Mayor Kenneth T. Welch and City Council members, and visit, tour and participate in cultural activities at local colleges, schools, galleries and agencies.

“The City of St. Petersburg is honored to recognize its longstanding relationship with Takamatsu, Japan, by welcoming Mayor Onishi and their delegation to our city,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Kenneth T. Welch. “Their visit and our exchange is a special opportunity for us embody the deep-rooted connection between our cities and St. Pete’s commitment to cultural enrichment.”

The City of St. Petersburg has had a Sister City relationship with Takamatsu, Japan since 1961. Each year, the City of St. Petersburg sponsors local high school students to visit Takamatsu as goodwill ambassadors. In return, visiting high school students from Takamatsu are placed with St. Petersburg host families for similar cultural learning experiences. 

“We are honored to welcome the esteemed guests from our sister city of Takamatsu, Japan," said City Council Chair Brandi Gabbard. "When we come together as people of unique cultures to learn about each other and explore our diverse perspectives, we create an atmosphere that encourages peace and global support of each other's endeavors. Collaboration is a powerful catalyst for success, and our cities’ collective strength is amplified when we work together.”

Additional St. Petersburg-Takamatsu arts and culture exchanges include an Artlink project between Creative Clay (St. Pete) and Heartlink (Takamatsu) which was born in 2001 when Creative Clay representatives traveled to Japan to teach the Artlink Mentorship Program, pairing professional artists with developmentally challenged member-artists. The next Artlink for Creative Clay and Heartlink is being planned for 2024.

Media Opportunities

Thursday, Oct. 5

9:00 a.m. - St. Petersburg City Council meeting

9:30 a.m. - Mayor’s Welcome Reception, City Hall Room 101