Reception welcomes Higashiomi delegates to Marquette

Nine delegates from Marquette’s Sister City of Higashiomi, Japan arrived Monday, and a public reception was held Tuesday to welcome them to the area.

The delegates have been busy touring Marquette since their arrival.  The focus of the Sister City relationship is to promote international friendship and cultural understanding.  This trip is also focusing on learning about Marquette’s economy.

“They’re seeing a lot of our different economies and unique economies in the Marquette area, like the recreation economy, some of the small business facets that are going on-like the brew pub economy and things like that,” Marquette Sister City Advisory Committee member Bill Brazier said.

“I wish I were able to continue this kind of program of exchange,” Higashiomi Mayor Masakiyo Ogura said.  “It would be very useful for both cities.”

Marquette and Higashiomi’s Sister City relationship started in 1979.  Overall, the delegation has liked their visit to Marquette and the warm reception they have received.

“The impression of Marquette is very beautiful area, a beautiful lake, and beautiful people-warm and friendly, so I like the city of Marquette,” Ogura said.

“The weather’s a little cool for them because they’re used to 90 degrees and high humidity, but also, they’re very taken by the warmth and the hospitality of the people, and the spirit of the community,” Brazier said.

Some delegates will leave Marquette Thursday, while others will leave next week.

Brazier encourages residents to stop and say ‘hi’ if they see delegates walking around Marquette.