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The Olympia-Kato Sister City Association invites the public to attend its Japanese New Year Celebration, Oshogatsu in Olympia. Stay tuned for event details!

Ten Thurston County area high school students traveled to Kato in the summer of 2017. Thanks to Myrna Lance for coordinating our High School exchange program, and Junryo Miyashita & Brin Smith for chaperoning!

In 2018, high school students from Kato will be coming to Olympia.  If you are interested in being a host family or helping out in other ways, please let us know.

2017 Spring Conferment of Decoration
On April 29, 2017, the Government of Japan announced that the Honorable Karen Fraser, former Washington State Senator, has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, in recognition of her contributions in furthering exchange between Japan and the United States by promoting Japanese culture in Washington State.

Senator Karen Fraser’s history of involvement in US-Japan relations began in 1981 when she played an instrumental role in establishing a sister-city partnership between Olympia and Yashiro (now Kato city) in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Later, as a state Senator, she led the organizing committees for both the 40th and 50th-anniversary celebrations of the Hyogo-Washington sister-state relationship, facilitating valuable exchanges between government and business leaders from both sides.

Senator Fraser has also made many important contributions to the local Japanese American community. These include efforts to create the Yashiro Japanese Garden in Olympia and in 2013 initiate the “Oshogatsu in …

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The OKSCA Meeting! The next meeting will be Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 6pm at 1801 West Bay Dr. NW, Suite 205.  The main topic of discussion is the visit by the Kato area high school students from July 25 to August 2.  If you are interested in hosting please contact Myrna Lance at: moc.loanull@ecnalanrym.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Washington & Hyogo Sister State 50th Anniversary. In case you missed it, you can watch a recording of the ceremony or view the online photo gallery.

The OKSCA is looking for volunteers to help with Bon Odori on August 17th. We need help with set up, take down, and watching the hospitality room. If you are interested in helping, please contact Junryo Miyashita at  moc.oohaynull@oyrnuj.

This is a free event held at St. Martin’s University. The focus of the seminar will be a sharing of knowledge, experience, and best practices related to disaster response and emergency preparedness by representatives of the respective sister-states. HAPSA will present details on the recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 from a government and community perspective. Presentations will also include prevention and preparedness efforts for future disasters. For more information and to register visit the website http://www.evergreenaspaonline.org/hyogo-washington-50th-anniversary/

Please check out our OKSCA Facebook page for upcoming events and happenings! Be sure to give us a like!

We are still seeking host families for the August 2013 Kato Student Delegation. If you’re interested in becoming a host family, please fill out the  Host Family Application Packet and return it to Barbara McConkey as soon as possible. If you have any questions, you can contact Barbara at ten.tsacmocnull@brabmrofni. We appreciate your help in making this trip a success.

The 2013 Saint Martin’s University Dragon Boat Festival will be held at Port Plaza in Budd Inlet on Saturday, April 27, 2013. Visit Saint Martin’s University website for more information.