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The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

Grabbing Life by the Horns

Livermore Restarts Cultural Exchange Program With Japanese Sister City

Yoav Aziz
Shinjuku Yakitori Alley, Tokyo, Japan. Forty miles from sister city Yotsukaidō.

Since 1965 Livermore has maintained relationships with cities around the world under their sister cities program. A sister city especially allied with Livermore is Yotsukaidō, Japan. In 2001 a program where middle school students in Livermore can visit Yotsukaidō for a week in October began. For the first time since the pandemic, the program is being reopened.

Livermore gained its first sister city with Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. In the years since we’ve gained two more, Yotsukaidō, Japan and Snezhinsk, Russia.

Yotsukaidō, Japan is a city similar in size and population to Livermore, roughly 40 miles away from Tokyo.

Prior to the pandemic, 8th graders in Livermore had the opportunity to visit Japan for one week in October through the Livermore-Yotsukaidō Sister City Organization (LYSCO). The following March, Yotsukaidō’s organization, Yotsukaidō Cross-Cultural Association (YOCCA), allows their middle school students to stay in Livermore for one week, reuniting with their American visitors.

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The program came to a halt in 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, talks between the two city governments have resumed and they plan to reinstate the program for the upcoming 2024 school year.

Livermore mayor John Marchand said, “For 45 years, Livermore has treasured our Sister City relationship with Yotsukaidō, Japan. As we come out of the recent pandemic, we welcome the renewal of our student exchange program and the enduring friendships that it has fostered.”

The program will begin in October 2024, families of interested students who will be in 8th grade 2024 are asked to apply through LYSCO’s website this upcoming spring. A limited amount of students who applied will be chosen through an interview process. Those chosen will have recurring meetings explaining the exchange process, what to expect, and which customs they should follow whilst in Japan.

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About the Contributor
Eddy Martinez
Eddy Martinez, Reporter
Eddy Martinez is part of Granada's class of 2024. Having lived in many different California cities, he's interested in local politics and social change taking place in California. When he's not working on his academics or working his part time job, he's exploring California's beauty at places like Yosemite, San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

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