United States-Japan Sister Cities Initiative

Managed by KIF USA and KIF Japan, United States-Japan Sister Cities Initiative (USJSCI) is a binational program that fosters mutual understanding, friendship and peace through cultural, educational, sports, economic and community exchanges between peoples of the United States and peoples of Japan.

What do we do?

At KIF, we officially became global partner with Sister Cities International (SCI), the largest citizen diplomacy network in the United States with more than 400 cities, counties, state communities with over 2,000 sister partnerships in 140 countries around the globe, to collaborate on a number of international sister city activities, including U.S.-Japan sister cities. As part of the partnership with SCI, KIF USA and KIF Japan collaborate with SCI to strengthen existing and new U.S.-Japan sister cities relationships by implementing a variety of bilateral people-to-people events in the United States and Japan.

Why U.S.-Japan sister cities?

According to SCI, there are actually 173 active existing U.S. city, county and state government members of SCI that have sister city partnerships with Japanese cities and prefectural governments, as of 2018. U.S.-Japan sister city partnerships are historically the largest and longest ones among 140 countries since 1955.

Recent Events

Japan-Texas Leadership Symposium
In March 2019, KIF USA and KIF Japan collaborated to partner with Sister Cities International and City of San Antonio, Texas to organize Japan-Texas Leadership Symposium, a first-of-its-kind sister cities symposium being presented to enhance the longstanding bonds of friendship and collaboration between Japan and the United States at the sub-national level, especially as it pertains to business, cultural, and community exchanges. For that successful event, we had more than 250 distinguished guests from the U.S. and Japan, including Mrs. Karen Pence, Second Lady of the United States, Texas Secretary of State, County Judges, Japanese Ambassador and Consul General, professors, military general, cultural icons, university students and others.

Japan-United States Sister Cities Summit
In 2020, KIF USA and KIF Japan are collaborating to partner with Sister Cities International to organize Japan-United States Sister Cities Summit in Japan. This Summit is the follow-up event to the Japan-Texas Leadership Symposium, celebrating the 75th Japan-United States sister cities partnerships since the first one occurred between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Nagasaki, Japan in 1955.