Japanese delegation visits to renew ties with Washington

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OLYMPIA — Leaders from Washington and the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan have signed a joint agreement commemorating the 50th anniversary of their sister-state relationship.

Gov. Jay Inslee and Hyogo Gov. Toshizo Ido signed the document renewing their ties Monday afternoon in the Senate chambers. Ido is among 250 members of a delegation from Hyogo visiting the state. Earlier in the day, the delegation was greeted by Inslee on the steps of the state Supreme Court. The agreement sets several objectives, including working to promote trade as well as academic and research exchanges between universities in both regions.

Former Washington Gov. Al Rosellini first began the sister-state relationship during a visit to Japan in 1963. Now, 12 cities or counties in Washington have sister cities in Hyogo, a prefecture of more than 5 million people.