Oakland, Japanese Sister City Mark 50 Years with Local Events

 This year, Oakland and Fukuoka, Japan celebrate the 50th Anniversary of establishing a Sister City relationship with events here in Oakland August 17-20, including a lanterns and cherry tree dedication in The Gardens at Lake Merritt Sunday, August 19.

In 1962 the city of Oakland formed a sister city relationship with Fukuoka, Japan. On the heels of World War II, then-President Eisenhower encouraged these connections to foster international understanding and harmony between cities and nations.

Fukuoka, Japan’s new 38-year-old mayor, the Hon. Soichiro Takashima leads a delegation of 30 officials and citizens to Oakland.

To celebrate this milestone and what it represents, Oakland is pulling out the stops with four days of celebratory events, showing off our city and sharing it with the delegation from Fukuoka. And they’re inviting the public to join in the fun.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

First-ever art exchange at Oakland Asian Cultural Center between Oakland artist James Gayles and Fukuoka artist Hiroko To. The 38 pieces, first shown in Fukuoka, will be displayed at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 Ninth Street, in Oakland’s Chinatown. An opening reception will take place  Friday, August 17, 6-8 pm. Reception is $10 per person.

Hiroshima at Yoshi’s Jazz ClubSaturday, August 18, 8-10 pm, Tickets $35 each.

Dedication of 10 Japanese lanterns at the Torii Gate at Lake Merritt. Copied from a lantern design at Kashii Shrine in Fukuoka, the project is funded by local support. Sunday, August 19, 8:30-9:30 am. Reception follows at Children’s Fairyland, Bellevue Avenue, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Free event is open to the public.

Oakland A’s versus Cleveland IndiansSunday, August 19 from 1:05-4 pm; pregame meal and seats at private seating Barbecue Terrace. Tickets are $50 and limited to 50 seats.

Historic Meeting and Panel Discussion on  Disaster Preparedness: Monday, August 20 from 8:30 am – Noon, Oakland City Hall City Council Chambers. Free event is open to the public.  Japanese firefighters who rushed to northern Japan after the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami and Earthquake will visit Oakland and share their experiences with the public on August 20, 2012.  The disaster killed 15,861 persons with 6,107 injured, and left 3,018 missing.   129,225 buildings totally collapsed. The Japanese firefighters, from Fukuoka, Japan, will share and exchange disaster rescue experiences with Oakland’s own disaster rescue personnel involved in the Loma Prieta Earthquake and Oakland Hills Wildfire.

Gala and Farewell Dinner:  Monday, August 20 from 6-9 pm, Sequoyah Country Club, 4550 Heafey Road. Tickets are $75 per person, $125 per couple.

Fukuoka (pronounced “Fu-ku-o-kah”) is Japan’s 6th largest city with a population of 1.5 million. Fukuoka is said to be the oldest city in Japan and is the nearest Japanese city to China and Korea. It is a modern city known for its universities, festivals, museums, textiles and cuisine.
 For more information on scheduled events or to make a donation to have your name placed on a lantern plaque go to http://www.oakland-fukuoka.org/. Emails can be directed to info@oakland-fukuoka.org or call (510) 638-7276.    The local Oakland Fukuoka Sister City Association (“OFSCA”), a volunteer nonprofit organization, is organizing the events.