Namerikawa and Schaumburg Celebrate 20th Anniversary as Sister Cities
39 Delegates from Namerikawa Join Celebration
• Thirty-nine representatives of the Japanese city of Namerikawa, Toyama Prefecture, including 20 junior high school students, visited Schaumburg from August 17 to 22 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the two cities’ sister-city relationship.
• After the welcome luncheon at the Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts upon arrival, the delegates were welcomed by the Schaumburg Sister Cities Commission on August 20 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center for the celebration ceremony.
• The ceremony was joined by Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson and Namerikawa Mayor Masataka Ueda, who arrived in Schaumburg that day.
• Larson praised the sister-city relationship by stating that the communication and cultural exchange over the past 20 years has enabled the members of the both communities to learn from each other and enjoy different cultures. He also announced August 2017 as the “Month of Namerikawa.”
• Ueda, who visited Schaumburg for the first time in 2011, was happy to be reunited with Larson. He thanked “Oya no Kai” the parents of the Thomas Dooley Elementary School students for accepting the 20 junior high school students as their host families.
• Namerikawa and Schaumburg became sister cities in July 1997 with the assistance of Sugino Corp., a machine tool manufacturer from Toyama. Since that time, people representing Schaumburg, including Larson, city officials, Schaumburg Youth Orchestra and members of the community, have visited Namerikawa, while students and citizens of Namerikawa have come to Schaumburg to stay with host families. In 2008, pen-paling began between the students of Thomas Dooley Elementary School in Schaumburg and Higashikazumi Elementary School in Namerikawa, and 17 children and their guardians visited Namerikawa in June this year.
• The sister-city relationship was, at times, on the
rocks. Ueda, who took over as the mayor of Namerikawa in 2010, feels the
relationship is “something special.”
• With a population of 33,000, Namerikawa is known as a “city of craftsmanship” while retaining its natural environment. The city’s per-capita value of manufacture’s shipment is 84.4 billion yen, the unbeatable No. 1 in Toyama, followed by the second highest of 52.5 billion yen. Another focus of the city is on education and child-care; in 2015, the city opened a children’s library which was designed after the kids’ corner in the Schaumburg public library.
• In addition to the 20 students, the visitors from Namerikawa included eight business representatives, such as the members of the Namerikawa Chamber of Commerce and Junior Chamber International Namerikawa. Ueda said he was hoping that his city could strengthen economic ties with Schaumburg, the No. 2 economic zone in Illinois after Chicago.
What Business Reps Felt
• The eight business representatives from Namerikawa were the members of such diverse local industries as construction, waste disposal, machine tool distribution, gardening, demolition, and home medicine/supplement. Their schedule in the U.S. included a meeting with the Schaumburg Business Association, and tours at Sunstar Inc. and Sugino Corp.
• Yusaku Kinaka, who represents the Junior Chamber International
Namerikawa, was “surprised” by the structures and buildings that one can’t
normally see in Japan. Owner of a construction business, Kinaka was naturally
drawn to the industry and how it’s operated in the U.S.
• Mikio Hirono of Hirono Co., Ltd., a machine tool distributor,
was impressed with the open-mindedness of the people of Schaumburg. “The
city has such a big heart to accept us all,” Hirono said.
Students from Namerikawa
• A total of 20 third-year students from Namerikawa Junior High School and Hayatsuki Junior High School visited Schaumburg, and enjoyed shopping at the Woodfield Mall, a ballgame of the Schaumburg Boomers and a Chicago tour, while staying with their host families.
• Mayu Obata of Hayatsuki Junior High School enjoyed
the Chicago Air Show and got the first-hand experience of America as a
“multicultural society.” It was something completely new for her which
one couldn’t experience in Japan.
• Manato Maruno, also from Hayatsuki, tried his English during shopping at the Woodfield Mall. “There are people of many ethnicities [in America], and not everybody is using English – I saw signs written in Korean, for example,” he said. “I feel that the people are living together side by side while using their own language pretty well.”
• Teppei Takata, another Hayatsuki student, is interested
in guns and asked his host family about the gun situation in America.
• Nobuharu Tanigawa, a member of the Namerikawa City
Assembly, experienced six years of American life while working for YKK
in Atlanta, Georgia from 1987 to 1993.
Re-learn the History of Schaumburg
• On the first day of arrival, Vice Mayor of Namerikawa Tadashi Ishikawa met with Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson and the village’s Economic Development Manager Matt Frank, who gave a presentation about the history of Schaumburg and its development.
• After incorporated as a village in 1956, Schaumburg
came up with a development plan in 1961 which centered on the vision of
a community for business as well as for residential properties.
• Motorola Inc., arriving in Schaumburg between the late 1960s and early 1970s, had a huge impact on the village. It brought highly educated workers, such as engineers and mathematicians, and the school districts in Schaumburg developed rapidly in order to provide the required level of education for their children. It also invited companies in the related technological fields, pushing the village’s development furthe
Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson (R) presents Namerikawa Mayor Masataka Ueda a Cubs’ jersey with the key to the city. In return, Ueda presented Larson with a handicraft from Namerikawa.
A key of Schaumburg is given to Mayor Ueda of Namerikawa
Namerikawa businessman group
The students from Hayatsuki High School
The students from Namerikawa High School
Tadashi Ishikawa, Vice Mayor of Namerikawa (C)