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Kizuna (Friendship) Reception (March 22, 2013)


Under the Kizuna (bonds of friendship) Program, fully funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, students from Littleton High School visited Japan from March 3rd to 16th.. They visited Tokyo and disaster-affected areas such Sendai, Iwanuma and Yamamoto City, learning about recovery efforts by local communities.

Following that, Japanese students from Sendai visited Littleton High School on a return trip from March 20th to 24th. For the purpose of welcoming these students, the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver and the Japan America Society of Colorado co-hosted a Kizuna (Friendship) Reception at Littleton High School on March 22nd.

Around 200 people attended the reception including Ms. Debbie Brinkman, Mayor of Littleton. Congresswoman Ms. Diana Digette also sent a message through a spokesman. In addition, 9 US military personnel attended the reception, all had been involved with Operation Tomodachi, the large relief mission of the US military in Japan following the 2011 earthquake & tsunami. The students from Japan conveyed a message of appreciation to these people and other Coloradans who extended assistance to Japan after the disaster.

Presentations were given also by outstanding young Japanese people living in Colorado, and by local alumni of the JET Program, a teacher exchange program that sends US teachers to Japan. The reception featured several cultural performances by students from Littleton, Montbello high school (who will also visit Japan as part of the city’s inaugural flight delegation), the students from Japan, and finally as well by Boulder Taiko (Japanese drums).