For 11 days in October I have had the great pleasure to visit our sister city, Sasayama, Hyogo, Japan, with 10 high school students from Walla Walla High School and Touchet High School. What great ambassadors we have for our future.
While in Sasayama, the mayor, Asahi Sakai, asked me to relay to the city of Walla Walla and all of the United States the following message.
"Please come to Sasayama, please come to Japan. It is safe to travel to Sasayama. There are no problems in Hyogo Prefecture. There is nothing to fear when you come to Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and Sasayama. We have no damage from an earthquake. We have no damage from a tsunami. We can have no damage from a tsunami because we are to far from the ocean. We have no nuclear fallout in Sasayama. Please do not be afraid to come to Sasayama."
I can attest to the fact that Sasayama is safe. So is Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto and all of Hyogo Prefecture. Yes, there is a problem in the area of Sendai, north of Tokyo. South of Tokyo there are no problems.
So if you have the opportunity to travel to Japan, please fear not.
The community of Walla Walla, through organization and individual donations, have contributed over 1,000,000 yen (U.S. $10,000) to the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. As a member of the Walla Walla-Sasayama Sister City Affiliation Committee I want to express gratitude.
The people of Japan appreciate the concerns shown by us as they rebuild their infrastructure, their homes and their lives.
Chairman, Walla Walla-Sasayama
Sister City Affiliation Committee