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Japanese Sister City visit for next week is canceled

Group coming to Lake Oswego from Yoshikawa City will stay home this year

A planned visit by students from Lake Oswego's Sister City of Yoshikawa City, Japan has been canceled.

A group of students was scheduled to be in Oregon and Lake Oswego between March 29 and April 5, many of them being hosted by local families.

However, 'as a result of the catastrophic events in Japan this year's visit has been canceled,' noted the city of Lake Oswego Wednesday in a press release.

This year, there were 11 families assigned students, with an additional four families signed up as backup. Two of the families had agreed to take two each of the youngest students.

The island nation sustained combined tragedies of a 9.0 earthquake, devastating tsunamis and radiation leaks from several affected nuclear facilities.

On page B4 of today's Lake Oswego Review, the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center column focuses on the planned arrival of the Japanese students. That portion of the story is no longer accurate; unfortunately, it went to press before the Wednesday announcement by the city.

'Yoshikawa City is located 20 miles northeast of Tokyo with a population around 60,000 people,' the release noted. 'Yoshikawa City did not suffer the same level of devastation that so many of the coastal communities suffered, and (its residents are) now joining together to open their homes to provide shelter, food and supplies to the thousands of families displaced and stranded by this tragedy. While the students will miss the opportunities provided in a visit to Oregon and Lake Oswego, they will turn their energy to helping their own. The funds they would have spent on the trip (will instead) help rebuild and support the victims of the devastation.'

Noting 'the incredibly difficult time for our Sister City and all of Japan,' the city of Lake Oswego is asking local residents to keep the Japanese in their thoughts and prayers.

'To show our support the city has erected a condolence table located at city hall, 380 A Ave. We invite the Lake Oswego community to write wishes and condolences for the victims and their families of the disaster in the journal. The table and journal will stay in place at city hall until April 8. At that time the journal and a formal letter from the city council will be delivered to the Japanese Consulate in Portland who will visit Japan and deliver to the Japanese government.'

Here are several ways the suggests that residents could directly help the victims of Japan:

n American Red Cross: https://american.redcross.org/site/Donation2?idb=0 and 5052.donation=form1 and df_id=5052n Japan Relief Fund-Mercy Corps, www.mercycorps.org/fundraising/oregonjapan .

For additional information, contact the Citizen Information Center, 503-635-0257.