Friends of the JFG Volunteer Day Jan 2021

Volunteers gathered at the Japanese Friendship Garden on January 16, 2021 for the first Volunteer Day in the garden in 2021!

Twenty-seven volunteers who had signed up beforehand through the Eventbrite link), wearing facemarks and able to distance while working, cleared about 15-20 years of green waste and 1500 feet of fence line before tacking weeks and grass along the smoke tree hill, removing redwood chip to spread it outside the fence and worked on the stay weeds and thistles popping up in the garden.

We all thank you for doing so much work and the Friends of the JFG to make the Garden a good place to go!

Subnational Global Young Professionals Forum

The first – USA-Japan Subnational Global Young Professionals Forum
San Jose, CA & JCI Okayama, Japan
November 12, 2020

Hosted by KIF Japan and JCI Japan with Subnational Collaboration from San Jose-Okayama Sister Cities. A set of six forums between USA cities and six cities in Japan will round out the first Young Professionals Forums. A report generated from discussion in these forums will be submitted to the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan through CULCON Japan and to the Office of the President of the United States of America through CULCON USA.

Bells for Peace: 8/5/20 Hiroshima event photos and article-Next is 8/8/20 Nagasaki

Thank you to KTVU Jana Katsuyama, Jon Kawamoto (SJ Mercury New) and Photojournalist Dai Sugano from the SJ Mercury News)

Here is a link to the San Jose Mercury News article published today:

And the video of Bells for Peace August 5. 2020 in San Jose 4:15 PDT is on the SJBetsuin Videos YouTube Channel:

Thank you to all those who viewed and participated!
This may and should become an annual event. What do you think?

Bells for Peace

on August 5th, San Jose-Okayama Sister Cities joins 50 (fifty) cities throughout the USA and thirteen prefectures in Japan in commemoration of 75 years of peace following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. The nuclear weapon was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15am on August 6th. Japan, being 16 hours ahead of us here on the West Coast, USA, we will be ringing simultaneously here (Aug 5th, 4:15pm PDT) and in Japan (Aug 6th, 8:15am).

Tokuzenji in Oda City, Shimane Prefecture, Japan will be ringing their temple bell simultaneously with San Jose (on Zoom) and others in San Jose will be joining us.

The event will be on the SJBetsuin Video YouTube channel (access here:

In this time of the COVID19 world pandemic, it is good to remember that we are still working with our friends everywhere around the world through sister cities to become a peaceful collaboration of culture and community.

Bell Ringing for Peace

Team Japan of Sister Cities International is organizing something nationwide between USA and sister cities in Japan for peace. In remembrance of the 75th Anniversary of the Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to remind us that this should never happen again, everyone is invited to ring bells, at home, in your city, whoever you are.

Our sister cities in Japan will be ringing bells at the same moment in time, literally creating good vibrations across the Pacific.

The dates are Aug 5th and Aug 7th in the USA.
Please look to this website for more detailed information after July 4th, so that we can make a joyful noise together!

Where We Are (with others)

The Sister City movement started after WWII when transgressions of race, ethnicity within the USA and atrocities were committed in wartime around the world. The idea was to promote familiarity and exchange between citizens in the USA and other cities, one by one, around the world.

As we look at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic today, we are brought back to the point, once again, quite emphatically, that we are just that – all human, all one, in a hopefully mutually beneficial relationship with spaceship earth.

As systemic racism is once again brought to the fore in the USA and again, around the world, we know that the incremental challenges faced by us all will necessitate both large, massive change and small, incremental changes throughout our way of life, our thinking, ourselves.

These challenges are known as we’ve faced them before.
Having the wisdom of those who have led us before encourages, supports, allows breathing to resume.

Here are two statements from San Jose-Okayama Sister Cities Honorary Advisor, Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. He writes these statements as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Japanese-American National Museum in Los Angeles, CA.

On Black Lives Matter

On Justice Bradley’s comments about Korematsu

His should not be the only words spoken. We must, with our own words and more importantly with our actions, put ourselves forward as citizen diplomats with our friends around the world.

Stay Safe and Be Well.

California-Japan Sister City Network

Consul General of Japan, Tomochika Uyama and wife, official residence

There are 105 officially recognized Sister City relationships between cities in California USA and Japanese cities in the country of Japan. Among them, the San Jose-Okayama Sister City relationship is one of the oldest. The California-Japan Sister City Network (CJSCN) was formed in 2018 to help all of the sister cities with Japan in networking, sharing ideas and resources and to spread the awareness of the great benefits of citizen-to-citizen diplomacy. We thank Consul General Uyama, his wife and Consulate staff for allowing us to experience his hospitality and for the opportunity to connect with other sister city organizations who also love their relationships with their sister cities in Japan.