Sister Cities International
Founded in 1956 by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Sister Cities International is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between U.S. and international communities. The program encourages global cooperation at the community level, promotes cultural understanding, and stimulates economic development.
Lansing's Sister Cities
The Lansing Regional Sister Cities Commission (LRSCC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization which develops and coordinates international sister city relationships for the city of Lansing, Michigan. Relationships with select global cities are cultivated through shared international artistic, educational, cultural, economic, and other exchange programs. LRSCC works to promote community understanding and appreciation of other cultures in hopes of creating a more peaceful world. Lansing's first Sister City relationship was formed in 1968, with Otsu, Japan. Guadalajara, Mexico was added in 1982. Saltillo, Mexico was added in 1994, Sanming, China in 1997. A Sister City agreement with Akuapim South District, Ghana was signed in 1997, and Asan, South Korea in 2008. In 2016 a Sister City relationship with Flint, Michigan was formed in solidarity with that neighboring city.
Otsu is located on Japan's main island of Honshu, a mere 10 minutes by train from Kyoto. It is situated on beautiful Lake Biwa, Japan's largest freshwater lake. Lake Biwa is in the center of Shiga prefecture, and is a site of significant relevance to the Japanese tourism industry. Otsu was the capitol of Japan some 1,300 years ago before the capitol was moved to Kyoto, but today it remains the capitol of Shiga prefecture. Otsu's cultural heritage is reflected in its traditional tastes and crafts such as braided rope for kimono accessories, freshwater fish, freshwater pearls from Lake Biwa, Zezeyaki pottery, and Gampishi silk paper.
The city of Guadalajara boasts stunning architecture, parks, fountains, and tree-lined avenues. With a population of more than 3 million, Guadalajara is the nation's second largest metropolis area and an important hub for culture, economy, history, industry and religion. Guadalajara is the capital of the state of Jalisco and known as the "Pearl of the West." Founded in 1542, Mexico's second largest city is a bustling metropolis with a colonial heart and a provincial soul. Guadalara is a center of learning with six universities, two culinary institutes, a renowned philharmonic orchestra and a thriving art scene.
The city of Saltillo is considered the Detroit of Mexico because of its heavy involvement in the automotive industry, including General Motors and Chrysler companies. The city is also Mexico's number one produce of coal and has highly developed agricultural, textile, and steel industries.
Sanming is a rising industrial city and a major resort in the "green triangle area," a popular year round destination for tourists. The city is also often regarded as a "green treasure house" because of its wealth of rare animals and plants. Sanming is a leading producer of natural products such as bamboo shoots, lotus seeds, Jinju tangerine, carambola, gem, and dried chili.
Ghana is located on the southern coast of West Africa near the equator. The country contains a wealth of natural resources and arable land as well and developed forestry, electrical system, telecommunications structure, health and educational institutions. Ghana has signed an agreement with the State of Michigan for cultural cooperation; several economic, health and educational ventures are currently being pursued. For example, a hospital in Ghana has recently established ties with Lansing area hospitals so that its patients my benefit from the health resources available in our community.
Asan, South Korea
Asan City with a population of approximately 205,000 is located in the South Chungcheong Province of South Korea, bordering the Seoul metropolitan area to the north. Known for its hot springs and spas, Asan is home to five universities. Asan is a business hub, home to factories owned by Hyundai Motor, Samsung LCD, Samsung Electronic, and many more prosperous companies. 14 industrial complexes exist within the city, primarily to allow for automotive and electronic manufacturing. Famous people associated with Asan include the late Yun Po Sun, former President of South Korea, and Admiral Yi Sun-sin, who defeated the Japanese navy in the 16th century. There is a miniature replica of a turtle ship made famous by Admiral Yi on the outskirts of town.