Bloomington-Normal celebrates 50 year Japanese partnership

By WEEK Producer

July 23, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:17 AM CDT

NORMAL, Ill. -- The twin cities are getting a visit from their sister city in Japan this week.

Yesterday, 39 guests from Bloomington-Normal's sister city Asahikawa, Japan descended upon the city as part of the group's 50th anniversary celebration.

The group spent Monday touring area businesses.

Organizers said the sister city program gives students from both Japan and the twin cities a unique opportunity to experience another culture.

"The sister cities program and programs like it continue to promote international goodwill and understanding," said Mayor of Normal Chris Koos.

"It's nice that we give our students a chance to learn about their culture," said Sister Cities Chairman Rich Strle. "We also give our students a chance to go over and visit Japan and see what it's like to live with a Japanese family."

The visit lasts until Saturday and includes tours of twin cities' landmarks along with trips to Springfield and Chicago.

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