Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and Mayor Takeshi Saito of Edogawa City, Japan signed a Sister City agreement recognizing the special relationship between the two cities at Kapolei Hale on Thursday, June 9, 2022. The two cities became sister cities in 2020 with Resolution 20-264. The signing ceremony was previously delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is the first in-person ceremony of the Blangiardi administration. The Sister City Signing Ceremony opened with oli and kahiko performed by Hālau Na Maka o ka Lauaʻe and Kumu Hula Lauaʻe Yamasaki. The ceremony included guests and dignitaries from the Consulate General of Japan, Councilmembers from Honolulu and Edogawa City, Cabinet Officials, members from the Japanese community, and personnel from the Honolulu Fire Department – to serve as kiaʻi, Kahu Keliʻi Makua, and Kahu Makani Tabura. Remarks and gifts from both Mayors and City Councils were exchanged, and an ʻawa ritual took place – to symbolize the solid foundation, mutual respect, and support for relations with Honolulu City and Edogawa City. Edogawa City shares a special relationship with and love for the City and County of Honolulu. This is displayed through the numerous hula hālau in the city. Edogawa also shares many similarities with the City and County of Honolulu with its seaside parks, surf beaches, and desire to encourage tourism that promotes and preserves their local culture and environment.
“Though this partnership is built upon the foundation of our two nations’ history of cooperation, it is my sincere hope that we can reimagine the ways in which we work together; the manner in which we build opportunities for both the people of Edogawa and Honolulu – to create mutually beneficial exchanges to the betterment of our individual Cities, but for our collective humanity.”
– Mayor Rick Blangiardi