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SUMTER COUNTY WELCOMES KONU/MIYOUSHI CITY JAPANESE DELEGATION

 Here on the stage of the historic Plains High School, students, home-stay families, administrative and political representatives gather at the end of the welcoming ceremony to Sumter County for the Konu Japanese Delegation.
Here on the stage of the historic Plains High School, students, home-stay families, administrative and political representatives gather at the end of the welcoming ceremony to Sumter County for the Konu Japanese Delegation.

The website for Konu/Miyoushi City, Japan reads:

"If you are looking for an extremely entertaining encounter, head northeast-ward from Hiroshima city and you will arrive at the greenery-rich town of Konu, Japan. Yes, this is the place where the things you are looking for will begin.

Konu's speciality is the smiling faces of its local people. No doubt you will soon be charmed and smile back at them. This exchange of smiles is a gift to you from the town of Konu.

In 1990, Konu invited Mr. Jimmy Carter, the 39th U.S President,to visit the area. It was an event which took place in connection with the hanging bell of Shoganji Temple. But that is not the only evidence to show that the town is eagerly promoting international exchange. In the summer of 1991,some people from Konu traveled to the city of Americus, Georgia, the U.S.A., Konu, has been expanding its international network."

 

Smiling faces were also shared as 15 students and 9 adults arrived in Plains for their 4-day visit to Plains, Americus, and Sumter County. The agenda for the meeting was filled with exciting exchanges of visual and historic sites throughout the county. Sumter County Schools' Assistant Superintendent, Mrs. Bari Geeslin and Mrs. Annette Wise of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site and many others in Sumter County had worked for months to achieve the desired success of the exchange visit.

 

Begun in 1995, the visit to Americus has been an annual event, except for last year when the visit was cancelled due to the H1N1 flu virus. The welcoming ceremony was filled with translated remarks from Sumter County Schools' Superintendent- Dr. Roy Brooks. Americus Mayor- Mr. Barry Blount, Plains Mayor-Mr. Boze Godwin, Mrs. Geeslin, Mrs. Wise, Japanese Student- Mr. Takuya Ohishi, a Konu Junior High students, and Myoshi City Vice Mayor-Mr. Kazutoshi Masuda.

 

To broaden cultural school performances, guests enjoyed a native Japanese costumed student dance, selections by the Sumter County Middle School Rhythm and Rhyme Ensemble and a Karate presentation by two Japanese students. After this final student sharing, the home-stay families were recognized with introduction to their new student guests who will live in their homes for the next four day. 

 

To renew the commitment and partnership of Sumter County Schools and the Konu Township, a new Japanese Friendship Resolution of commitment was signed by Sumter County Schools' Board Chairman, Dr. Michael Busman and Superintendent, Dr. Roy Brooks. The resolution read:

"Whereas, We believe the study and understanding of different cultures and nationalities to be important in the development and education of the children of Sumter County and Whereas, to this end, we are desirous of maintaining established relationships with other school systems to facilitate the exchange of ideas and students; and Whereas, The people of Konu Township and the people of Myoshi City, Hiroshima, Japan, have expressed the same belief and interest; and Whereas, Since 1991, the Konu Township and Sumter County school system have an established partnership; and Whereas, This partnership was established as a result of the professional relationship between one of the former members of the House of Councilors of the Japanese Diet, Senator Hajime Akiyama and former President Jimmy Carter; Now Let It Therefore Be Resolved, that the Sumter County Schools' Board of Education, Superintendent, Administration, and Staff will take all actions possible to support an enhance this relationship."

 

Here on the stage of the historic Plains High School, students, home-stay families, administrative and political representatives gather at the end of the welcoming ceremony to Sumter County for the Konu Japanese Delegation.

 
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