What do Napier, New Zealand, Suzhou, China, Morioka Japan and Khabarovsk, Russia all have in common?
The four towns are all official “sister cities” of Victoria, chosen to promote tourism, education, investment opportunities and to attract a talented workforce.
Inazo Nitobe, a widely respected Japanese diplomat whose dream was to become a bridge across the Pacific, died in Victoria in 1933 but was born in Morioka, Japan and the signing of this sister city agreement has resulted in cultural and sporting exchanges over the years.
When Morioka was hit by an earthquake in 2011, Victoria sent a donation of $21,000 to help with disaster relief.
The concept of “sister cities” was the brainchild of former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower who at a White House conference in 1956, proclaimed the idea would be a beneficial resource for the negotiations of governments in letting people express a common desire for friendship, goodwill and co-operation.
If you’re interested in becoming part of a volunteer group for one of the four city relationships, who work on fundraising efforts as well as hosting and hospitality for those visiting from each country, contact city hall.