In San Jose, we’ve been in “stay-at-home,” remote-work, “shelter-in-place” mode for a couple weeks now. One of the challenges of this is that IF your WiFi or Bluetooth or something (internet connectivity) OR any of your electronic devices stops working – you’re in trouble!

However, at this time, and hopefully – forever, everything IS working so – this page is where we’ll post updates if we have any.

On March 12, 2020, SJ-Okayama Sister Cities hosted a California-Japan Sister Cities Network Silicon Valley Regional meeting in the Okayama Room at Leininger Center, Kelley Park. Five other cities participated; Sunnyvale-Iizuka, Palo Alto-Tsuchiura, Morgan Hill-Mizuho, Watsonville-Kawakami , Cupertino-Toyokawa and us (San Jose-Okayama) made six. It was a good meeting, with physical distancing being practiced (it’s a large room and many tables were put together to make a very very large table). We also had a large hand sanitizer gel bottle and individual snacks on hand.

San Jose-Okayama Sister Cities has decided to join the other five sister city relationships in cancelling our 2020 Homestay in Okayama program due to at least two reasons. We want to keep the spread or threat of COVID-19 contained and join our community in this effort. We also need to raise money in order to continue the Homestay program and that is especially difficult with the understandable and important “stay-at-home” restrictions.

Thinking with a bit of levity, this may be our best chance to associate ourselves with the Olympic Games! We’ll be postponed but we will not be ultimately cancelled.

In the spirit of the times there is a famous Hawaiian proverb to share:
‘A ‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia
No task is too big when done together by all

Stay safe everyone!

Messages from Okayama

“Thank you very much for sharing information. In Okayama City, one person was exposed to be tested last week and found to be infected by the novel corona virus yesterday. She is the first case in Okayama pref. We will see how the situation will be in Okayama.”

Ms Asami Kawata, International Division, Okayama City to Joe Hedges (City of San Jose) and Kathy Sakamoto (SJOSC) on 3/23/20

“I am very fine now in Okayama. But Corona virus infection has expanded all over the world. A patient in Okayama city has appeared …All schools were closed down. I am bored everyday. So, friends and I are renting tennis courts and play tennis together…

I pray for your health. Let’s meet again sometime🤩”

Koko, 2019 Homestay Student in San Jose from Okayama, Japan (3/24/20)

“I’m fine😊. I graduated from junior high yesterday.”-Sakura (3/14/20)
“Don’t worry👍🏼 I’m fine! Me too. I graduated yesterday”-Sui (3/14/20)
“Long time no see..I’m doing fine! School is closed.”-Sae (3/14/20)
“I’m fine, too! I’m free from school because of the coronavirus. I want to see everyone again.😊 Everyone, be careful!”-Anon (3/14/20)

All communicated 3/14/20 Sakura, Sui, Sae, Anon, 2019 Homestay in San Jose from Okayama, Japan

Let’s build something together.