City rolls out welcome mat for students from Largo’s sister city in Japan

Yamada High School students from Largo’s sister city of Kami City, Japan, visited City Hall recently to check out amenities and visit city and community leaders, including George Feaster, a Largo Lions Club member and founding member of the Sister Cities cultural exchange, left, and Mayor Woody Brown, in rear wearing a blue shirt.

LARGO — The Largo Lions Club and City of Largo Japanese Friendship Committee invite the community to help plan a special anniversary visit by those from the city’s sister city, Kami City, Japan.

As preparations are made to celebrate 50 years, the committee is seeking interpreters, encouraging participation by former exchange students, and looking to create an exciting cultural experience by finding Largo residents willing to open their homes to guests.

The community is encouraged to join committee members on Thursday, April 25, 6 p.m., at City Hall, 201 Highland Ave. NE.

In 1969, Lions Club representatives approached the mayor of Largo with a proposal to sign a Sister City Agreement with Tosayamada, Japan. In July of that year, and with the help of Japanese Lions Club counterparts, the agreement was completed at a ceremonial signing in Tosayamada — renamed Kami City in 2006.

Delegations from the two cities have traveled across the world many times to renew bonds, exchange gifts and share cultures. In November, Largo will host representatives from Kami City, who will celebrate the 50th anniversary.

Planning is also underway with the Largo High School Japanese Friendship Club, which will be traveling in June to Kami City. The club will visit the students of Yamada High School to celebrate the 25th anniversary of student exchanges between the two schools.

For more information, call 727-587-6740.