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Phoenix Reaffirms Friendship with Himeji, Japan on 40th Anniversary Phoenix Reaffirms Friendship with Himeji, Japan on 40th Anniversary <div class="ExternalClassA78748F7E54C4151BAE8B977EB38E6FF"><p>In honor of Phoenix's 40th Anniversary with its Sister City Himeji, Japan, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton signed a reaffirmation agreement with Himeji Vice Mayor Masahiro Utsumi. A delegation from Himeji visited Phoenix to mark the anniversary.  During their visit, the Himeji visitors participated in several activities including visits to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), Desert Botanical Garden and a stop at Montezuma's Castle while traveling to Sedona.</p><p>Himeji, located along the Seto Inland Sea, 40 miles north of Kobe, Japan, is Phoenix's second oldest Sister City. During the past four decades, Phoenix Sister Cities' relationship with Himeji resulted in the construction of the Japanese Friendship Garden and Tea House located in Hance Park. The Himeji Committee has been instrumental in sharing Japanese culture with Phoenix residents through international exchanges as well as English teaching opportunities for college grads.  </p><p>The signing demonstrates Phoenix and Himeji's dedication to strengthening existing programs in the fields of economy, education, culture, society, tourism and sustainable development as well as a commitment to expanding the friendship between residents of both cities.</p></div>12/1/2016 7:00:00 AMCynthia Weaver - 602-568-8126Rick Gerrard - 602-495-5918