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Japan Sister City Visits Anchorage
Anchorage, AK - For 45 years, Anchorage has enjoyed a strong relationship with their sister city in Japan.
And while Chitose is in Japan, it's actually not that different from here.
"The nature is similar, the mountains, the lake (are) great natures, so I think the water is clean, the air is clean, so we're very similar," said Izumi Ookabe who is a City Commissioner in Chitose, Japan.
So it should be no surprise that having a sister city like Chitose works well for Anchorage.
"It's great for Anchorage to have that sister city, it establishes their relationships and it helps with business too, with trade," Charlene Howe who is the Chair of the Sister City Commission here in Anchorage said.
And trade is not the only benefit Anchorage receives from the Sister City program, schools and Girl Scout troops have also gained positive experiences as well.
"We have had a Girl Scout exchanges going for 36 years, where they every three years, they come and go to Chitose, Japan, so go to Chitose one year, go to Anchorage the next year, rest one," said Howe.
And in addition to sharing cultures, the Sister City program can offer another benefit to those wishing to attend college abroad.
"Our sister cities will grant the same tuition, in-state tuition for any sister city that has a university in their area," Howe said. "It's a great program, that it's recipricoal, so they would pay the same in-state tuition that UAA would charge here, so a great benefit."
The Sister City program here in Anchorage is connected to six sister cities throughout the world.