The visitors from Nyuzen, Forest Grove's sister city, are here to celebrate 30 years of partnership.

STAFF PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Forest Grove residents and city officials welcome delegates visiting from Nyuzen, Japan, on Monday afternoon, July 2.Delegates visiting from Forest Grove's sister city of Nyuzen, Japan, were greeted with applause, handshakes and hugs as they arrived Monday afternoon, July 2, at the Forest Grove Community Auditorium for the official kickoff of their four-day visit to Forest Grove.

The delegation is in town to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Forest Grove and Nyuzen — a bond that is mostly symbolic, but which has been marked by regular cultural exchanges, including visits by students from each community. Forest Grove will send its own delegation for 30th anniversary festivities in Nyuzen, a Japanese port town about the same size as Forest Grove, next year.

Members of the Forest Grove Sister Cities Committee, city officials and other interested residents were on hand Monday to receive the visitors from Japan.

Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax offered some brief remarks, which were translated into Japanese for the benefit of the visiting delegation, before delegates were assigned to their host families — the Forest Grove denizens who will be housing them during their brief stay in Oregon.

"It's my pleasure to welcome you to Forest Grove for your visit," Truax told the delegates. "And even though our time together may be short, we're extremely glad that what time you have, you're spending with us, strengthening the bonds of international friendship."

The delegation will be in town until Thursday, July 5.

During the time delegates are here, they will participate in activities including a 1 p.m. tour of the Sake One brewery in Forest Grove Tuesday, July 3, the dedication of a Forest Grove Daybreak Rotary "peace pole" outside the auditorium three hours later, and then a formal banquet and gala at Pacific University later that evening.

While no public sister city events are planned Wednesday, July 4, at least some delegates will likely attend the annual fireworks show that night at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School.

"We are glad you are here," Truax said to the delegates Monday afternoon. "We're very glad you're going to help us celebrate our Independence Day in a couple of days."

Delegates and host families have also been invited to a welcome dinner at the mayor's house Monday evening.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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