Abashiri delegation reaffirms twinning with Port Alberni

Consulate-General of Japan thanks Alberni Valley residents for support following Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Yoichi Mizutani

Yoichi Mizutani

Port Alberni, B.C. and Abashiri, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan reaffirmed their twinning relationship with a ceremony at Port Alberni’s city hall on Friday afternoon (July 13, 2012).

Abashiri Mayor Yoichi Mizutani, city councillor Mr. Kudo and president of the sister city society Mr. Umemoto and a dozen other Abashiri residents arrived in Port Alberni for the ceremony.

Since 1986, 820 Abashiri students and 400 Port Alberni students have crossed the Pacific Ocean on cultural exchanges between the two cities, Mizutani said. Another group of students as well as a mixed hockey team will return to Port Alberni in January 2013.

“It’s very important we have this wonderful relationship with the country of Japan and with the city of Abashiri,” Port Alberni Mayor John Douglas said. “We hope to maintain and to cultivate our relationship with our sister city and through that to strengthen our bond between Canada and Japan.”

Douglas and Mizutani signed a reaffirmation of the twinning agreement.

“On behalf of the City of Abashiri and the citizens of Abashiri, I would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to all of you who donated money, goods and time for the disaster relief fundraising for the earthquake in Japan last year,” Mizutani said.

“We are all impressed by your thoughtfulness.”

Abashiri officials received donations from Port Alberni on May 19, 2011, and the money was given to the Japan Red Cross Society, he said. Money donated from the Port Alberni Salvation Army was directed to the Salvation Army Japan in Tokyo, also in May last year.

“We would also like to thank Roxy Manson (of Port Alberni), who donated money for Japan’s victims instead of her birthday presents last year. It was very touching,” Mizutani said.

“Roxy’s presents have been sent to children in Miyako City, which was attacked by the tsunami.”

Consulate-General of Japan Hideki Ito was also in attendance, which Mizutani said was a great honour for his Japanese city.

Ito said this was his second visit to Port Alberni. “I’m very happy to be here,” he said. Port Alberni and Abashiri’s sister city relationship is one of 34 in British Columbia, and Ito said those Canadian communities mobilized quickly to help their counterparts after the devastating earthquake and resultant tsunami in March 2011 that killed thousands of people and destroyed whole cities.

He is trying to visit as many sister cities as possible to further promote twinning relationships, he said.

Ito said his government has been in discussions with both the provincial and federal governments over how Canada will handle the ensuing arrival of debris from the Japanese tsunami. While U.S. officials have set aside money to map and recover tsunami debris, the B.C. government has not.

Ito said Japan is working with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for reuniting people in Japan with their possessions. Items must meet three criteria in order for this process to take place, Ito said: the item has to be from Japan, it has to be identifiable (i.e. a name or licence plate) and the object has to have value “not only in price but in feelings.”

A ‘sayonara’ dinner for the Abashiri delegation will be held Saturday night at Echo Centre on Wallace Street, then the visitors will return to Vancouver on Sunday for some sightseeing in that city before returning home.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/alberninews

Edited July 17, 2012 to correct spelling of Hideki Ito.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Alberni Valley Non-Contact Hockey League has suspended play under provincial health orders despite having a strict COVID-19 safety plan. (FILE PHOTO COURTESY TREVOR ZADO)
Adult sports shutdown ‘tough pill to swallow’ says Alberni hockey league president

Hockey, curling suspend play under new provincial COVID-19 orders

Renovations are complete at the Bread of Life and following a final health inspection, the warming centre at the Third Avenue facility will be open a few days a week. (PHOTO COURTESY BREAD OF LIFE SOCIETY)
Port Alberni’s warming centre close to opening

Organizers aim for Dec. 4 pending final health inspection

”Once upon a time…” (METRO CREATIVE)
QUINN’S QUIPS: Who is the creature in the shiny red mask?

Annual Alberni Valley News story contest kicks off for 2020

FILLING THE KETTLES
Hayden Henschel, 3, has fun slipping coins into a Salvation Army kettle on Wednesday, Nov. 25 in front of Walmart. Henschel was shopping with her family when they stopped to make a donation to the kettle campaign. To donate online, visit the website www.fillthekettle.com. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)
Port Alberni Salvation Army’s kettle campaign seeks donations

Contact-less donations are available online

‘TIS THE SEASON
Wade Addy from Addy Power Ltd. in Errington hangs Christmas lights across the bottom of Johnston Road in Port Alberni on a stormy Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni readies for holiday with festive street lights

Christmas lights have been going up all around town

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

Most Read