Japanese students visit Sequim

SEQUIM — Ten ninth-grade students from Shiso, Japan, and their chaperones will be welcomed at Sequim Civic Center at 3 p.m. today.

The students will meet their host families at the reception at the civic center at 152 W. Cedar St.

City and Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce representatives will greet the six boys and four girls and their three chaperones at the welcome ceremony, said Annette Hanson of the Sequim Sister City Education Committee.

A delegation has visited Sequim annually as part of an educational and cultural exchange program between Sequim and Shiso, which have been sister cities since 1994, Hanson said.

Once the ceremony concludes, the Japanese students will go home with their new American families for five days “to learn about our culture and experience our way of life,” Hanson said.

This weekend, association members will take the Shiso chaperones — Shuji Yamamoto, Principal of Ichinomiya Kita Junior High School; Shigenobu Sera, Deputy Section Chief of the Shiso Board of Education; and Elizabeth Simon, Shiso English Coordinator — to see historic sites and landmarks, visit in private homes, sample restaurants and shop, Hanson said.

Shiso students Haruhi Hirata, Nanaho Tanijiri, Shogo Haruna, Tsubasa Haruna, Nanami Hakagawa, Yuki Okada, Natsu Komata, Sota Sanuki, Yuki Takata and Seiji Kyunai will attend Sequim High School ninth grade classes Monday with their hosting students — Aleah Chen, Coral Disinski, Erik Holtrop, Braden Koch, Fiona Macpherson, David Melcer, Chloe Morton, Kaleb Needoba, Kathrine Tucker, and Oscar Walchenbach and Logan Laxson.

On Tuesday, the delegation will tour Sequim schools before a Sayonara Party with a potluck dinner. The group will leave early Wednesday morning to fly back to Japan via San Francisco.

From Oct. 9-18, the 10 Sequim High School hosting students and their three chaperones — Gloria Dahlquist, retired school counselor; Duane Needoba, Interfor process control engineer; and Kimberly Needoba, nurse practitioner — will travel to Shiso to stay in the homes of the visiting students and to tour other areas of Japan.

All ambassadors and chaperones pay their own travel costs.

For information about tax-deductible contributions to the program, contact Hanson at 360-670-6774 or Melanie Sands at the chamber at 360-683-6197 for details; or mail a contribution to the chamber at P.O. Box 907, Sequim, WA 98382.

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