Sister Cities International Annual Conference
Koyamada was invited to participate the 61th Sister Cities International Annual Conference for four days held in Virginia Beach, VA. Following up with attending the 60th Sister Cities Anniversary Celebration between the City of San Jose and his hometown City of Okayama, meeting the 150 delegation from Okayama and local San Jose officials and supporters, including Tim Quigley back in last April in 2017.
SCI is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization which serves as the national membership organization for individual sister cities, counties, and states across the U.S. This network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in over 500 member communities with over 2,000 partnerships in 145 countries on six continents. SCI was created at President Eisenhower’s 1956 White House summit on citizen diplomacy, where he envisioned a network that would be a champion for peace and prosperity by fostering bonds between people from different communities around the world.
After attending the great event in San Jose, CA, Koyamada became more interested in learning more about the sister cities programs in different cities so I decided to join the conference and fly to Virginia Beach for the first time on the east coast of the U.S. through this conference, I was amazed by how many different people are involved in, how much Mayors of U.S. and other nations are actively engaged into each other, and how important the sister cities programs are.
Koyamada has met with hundreds of well known citizen diplomats, including Honorable Norman Mineta, former Mayor of San Jose, Fmr. Secretary of Transportation and Commerce, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and 90 young high school students from around the U.S. He could tell young people were also having a blast visiting Virginia Beach, learning so much through youth leader summit and making new friends. He was very much looking forward to bridging the global communities for world peace through the SCI movement.