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Sister cities come together

Yoshikawa students spend a week in Lake Oswego
by: Vern Uyetake, 
Students from Yoshikawa, Japan, performed a Japanese song for their host families at Lake Oswego Junior High School last Thursday. The group spent a week in Lake Oswego, where they shadowed local students and met city officials. From left in front are Hanna Tanaka, Miyabi Komatsu and Daiki Uchikawa. For more, see page A2.

A group of students from Yoshikawa, Japan, began their week-long visit to Lake Oswego by meeting with their local host families last Thursday at Lake Oswego Junior High School.

The group's annual journey is part of a program that links Lake Oswego and Yoshikawa as 'sister cities.' Each year, Yoshikawa students come to Lake Oswego to tour the Portland area. A few months later, Yoshikawa runners participate in the annual Lake Oswego Lake Run.

According to city officials, former city Mayor Bill Klammer once traveled to Yoshikawa as part of the program, but no one from Lake Oswego has traveled there in an organized event in the past five years.

Organizers prepared a jam-packed schedule for the students' trip. Last Thursday's schedule included a tour of the Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls, lunch at McDonald's and a student orientation at LOJHS.

Other stops on their tour included Lake Oswego City Hall (where they met Mayor Judie Hammerstad), Pioneer Place in downtown Portland, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, shadowing at LOJHS this week and a performance of Japanese songs at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

They also went on a shopping trip to Washington Square Mall in Tigard.

The students and their chaperones returned to Yoshikawa Wednesday.