Strengthening Ties between Chitose and Anchorage

From January 7th to 14th, fifteen elementary school students and three high school students from Chitose had the opportunity to visit Anchorage. They engaged in a school and homestay experience, fostering cultural understanding and lifelong friendships with Sand Lake Elementary School and Dimond High School.
We were honored to welcome the Chitose city delegation on January 10th at a ceremony. The Head of the Consular Office of Japan, Mr. Hamada, attended as a guest of honor and Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson kicked off the event with a warm welcome speech, setting the tone for a week filled with shared experiences and cultural celebrations.
The ceremony featured a delightful choral performance of the Alaska State Song, "Alaska's Flag" and a Japanese song “The One and Only Flower in the World” by the students from Sand Lake Elementary School. The Chitose students, in turn, treated us to a captivating Yosakoi dance performance, expressing their deep gratitude for the warm welcome they received from the Anchorage community.
In a special milestone, 2024 marks the 55th anniversary of the sister city affiliation between Chitose City and Anchorage. The Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage extends its heartfelt wishes, hoping that the bonds of friendship and exchange between Chitose and Anchorage will not only endure but also flourish. It is our belief that the students who participated in this exchange will play a crucial role in deepening these connections in the years to come.