Lawrence is celebrating a decade of sister city ties to Hiratsuka, Japan.
Visiting dignitaries are in Lawrence this week to help mark the 10th anniversary of our sister city relationship with Hiratsuka, Japan. As part of the festivities, the new Japanese Friendship Garden, a gift from the city of Hiratsuka, will be dedicated next to Watkins Community Museum of History.
The world is getting smaller all the time, and many Lawrence residents travel abroad on a regular basis, but the sister cities program gives some special significance to some of those destinations. In the last decade, Lawrence has exchanged a number of official visits with its sister cities of Hiratsuka and Eutin, Germany, and hundreds of students have been involved in exchange visits.
The program has involved exchanges of videos, artworks and performing groups. Interns in various business fields also have been part of the exchanges. Through such programs, residents gain a new appreciation for other cultures and people.
Such knowledge makes the world even a little smaller and brings people closer together in the process. The mayor and about 30 other Hiratsuka residents are in Lawrence this week to dedicate the friendship garden and learn more about our city and culture. We welcome them and hope they are favorably impressed.