Special events planned to commemorate 50 years of friendship.
Credit: MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo
By GWEN MURANAKA
RAFU ENGLISH EDITOR IN CHIEF
Standing in front of the Nagoya Clock Tower on First Street in downtown Los Angeles, Councilmember Tom LaBonge and members of the Los Angeles-Nagoya Sister City Association (LANSCA) marked 50 years of friendship with a colorful quilt and the cutting of cake.
Rushing from a city council meeting, LaBonge noted that Nagoya became the first Sister City to Los Angeles in 1959 under then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s initiative to strengthen international relations. The relationship, which began on April 1, 1959, was tested early on when Nagoya was devastated by a typhoon on Sept. 26, 1959.
“Los Angeles Sister City members organized and shipped relief supplies to the city of Nagoya. The city of Nagoya fell in love with Los Angeles, Los Angeles with Nagoya,” said LaBonge. “I’m very proud that Nagoya is our first Sister City.”
Norman Arikawa of LANSCA added, “Fifty years is a very long time to have a strong relationship and I’m proud to be affiliated with the Sister City relations. We’ve formed some very close and deep relationships. That’s what our Sister City program is about, people to people relations.”
A quilt was displayed created by students of the Ragan Art Academy of the Barnsdale Arts Junior Arts Center in honor of the 50th anniversary. The quilt depicts familiar icons of both cities including the golden dolphins of Nagoya Castle and the Hollywood sign.
A delegation from Nagoya will come to Los Angeles in August to participate in the Nisei Week Japanese Festival and other events, including a welcome dinner and reception at the Autry National Center in Griffith Park.