(Office of the Saipan Mayor) —  Katori City Mayor Seiichi Ui and Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, will be concluding the sister-city agreement between Katori City, Japan, and the Municipality of Saipan on Oct. 29, 2021. 

“This historic and unique conclusion ceremony will be an event to remember for years to come.  Mayor Ui and I will be signing the sister-city agreement virtually,” Apatang said.

“After many months of exchanging emails with Mayor Ui’s office in Katori City, Japan, after we met with him in person back in May 2019, we are finally on the last leg of our journey on establishing the sister city relationship with Katori City and Saipan,” Apatang added.

A special thank you goes out to many individuals who helped in connecting the mayor of Katori City and the Saipan mayor’s office and moving talks forward on the plan to bond the two places through a sister city agreement.

 “We thank Mr. Noboru Hirayama of Kyowa Construction Industry Stock Company for his relentless effort in encouraging the two mayors to consider a sister city relationship,” Apatang said. 

“Mr. Hirayama has been coming to Saipan annually for many, many years in honor of the Katori Shrine at the Sugar King Park, and wanted to see the two municipalities establish a relationship that can bring our two cultures together.  The Katori Jingu in Katori, Japan, has historically held ceremonies at the Katori Shrine in the Sugar King Park and Mr. Hirayama has always made the trip to Saipan every year,” Apatang added.

“We also want to express our appreciation to former Tasi Tours president, Mr. Masato Tezuka, former MVA managing director, Mr. Christopher Concepcion, and Mr. Takashi Ichikura, general manager of MVA Japan, for their help in making our visit to Katori City in May 2019 very productive,”  Apatang added.

Joining Mayor Apatang on Oct. 29, 2021 for the conclusion ceremony will be Japan Consul Ono Kazuhiko, MVA Managing Director Priscilla Iakopo, Hideaki Sawada, chairman of Japan Society in Saipan,  Christopher Concepcion, a representative from the Japan Saipan Travel Association, and a representative from the Japan-Northern Marianas Descent Association. Media members will be invited as well.

“The objective of the sister-city agreement will be to ensure a perpetual connection between Katori City and Saipan and the preservation and teaching of the vital history of that connection,” Mayor Apatang said. 

“Because the preservation and teaching of that vital history is everybody’s business, just like tourism, we will develop programs that should include cultural exchange programs for the youth and adults.  We will also endeavor to include exchanges in agriculture, commerce, and tourism in our relationship with Katori City, as the city is a premier agricultural hub in the Chiba Prefecture in Japan.  The word Katori has a special place here in Saipan.  It is the Katori Shrine in the Sugar King Park,” the mayor added.

“We are very excited to welcome Katori City, Mayor Ui, his staff, and Japan, as we enter into the sister city agreement on Oct. 29, 2021.”

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