Sister City - Sayama, Japan

Worthington Delegates Wanted for 2022 Sister City Experience in Sayama, Japan

 A delegation will be selected in 2022 to represent the City of Worthington during a visit to Worthington’s sister city, Sayama, Japan. The delegation will be made up of five citizens from Worthington. The exact dates have yet to be finalized and approved, but tentative dates are November 9-15 of 2022. Current WIFA members are given priority in the selection process. 

IMPORTANT: in the light of the COVID-19 situation, the final decision on delegation travel and dates will be contingent on current COVID conditions and acceptance of foreign travelers by the government of Japan. There is expected to be a requirement that delegates be vaccinated and willing to mask up everywhere, including both indoor and outdoor settings, as required and practiced in Japan.

The long-standing sister-city relationship and resulting cultural exchange program is designed to promote cultural understanding, international friendships and opportunities for cultural exchange in a variety of areas. While in Sayama, Worthington delegates will stay in the homes of Japanese families and experience everyday living. A portion of the airfare will be subsidized by WIFA. 

Please indicate your interest by filling out the online 2022 Worthington Delegate Application or download the application here.

Applicants will be interviewed and selected in late summer/early fall. Plane tickets will not be purchased until the trip is confirmed. Please contact Anne Brown at anne.brown@worthington.org or 614-854-7173 for more information. 

Background

One crisp autumn day in 1993, a delegation from Sayama, Japan, sipped tea in the garage bays of the old Worthington fire station, which served as the temporary home of the City administration while the new Municipal Building was under construction. Seeking to identify a friendship city, the Japanese delegation was visiting several central Ohio cities, including Worthington. Later that winter, officials in Worthington received an official request from the Sayama International Friendship Association (SIFA) to become Sayama’s friendship city.

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In acceptance of the invitation, the City of Worthington formed the Worthington International Friendship Association (WIFA) and visited Sayama in 1994 to bind the friendship. Five years later, in 1999, that friendship deepened even further with the signing of a sister-city agreement between the two cities.

Exchanges

Today, Worthington and Sayama enjoy a thriving sister-city relationship. Over the years, dozens of Worthington and Sayama delegations of citizens, city officials, students, artists, youth choirs and sports teams have visited each others cities. Delegates enjoy a homestay and cultural immersion experience in the two cities. 

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