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Saipan, Okinawa to revive student exchange program

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SAIPAN Mayor David M. Apatang said he met with two officials of the Okinawa Prefectural Government on Thursday to revive the student exchange program between the two jurisdictions.

He said director Kouji Ida and supervisor Yukiko Shimoji of the Okinawa Prefectural Government’s International Exchange Division are on island recently.

“We need to revive the student exchange program with Okinawa because this is how we can attract more visitors from Okinawa and other parts of Japan,” the mayor added.

Mayor David M. Apatang and his project manager Lee Tenorio with director Kouji Ida and supervisor Yukiko Shimoji of the Okinawa Prefectural Government International Exchange Division and their interpreter.  Contributed photo

Apatang said he also urged the Okinawa officials to continue the annual pilgrimage to the NMI of an Okinawan group to further strengthen the two jurisdictions’ relationship.

Last year, in its 50th pilgrimage to the Northern Marianas, members of the Micronesia Repatriation Association led by Okinawa Gov. Yasuhiro Tamaki hosted a memorial service at the Okinawa Peace Tower in Marpi.

The mayor said there is also a plan to forge a sister-city relationship between Saipan and Okinawa.

The sister-city ties with Katori, Japan will be finalized with the visit of the Katori mayor this year, he added.

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