The visitors from Memuro, Tracy’s Sister City on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, will include 14 people, headed by Memuro’s mayor.
The program, launched in 1989, features an exchange of students each year and periodic additional exchanges.
Members of the Tracy Sister Cities Association have sent invitations to city officials and school board members, along with adults and former students who have taken part in the annual exchanges.
Carol Minner, president of the association, reports that more than 350 middle-school students from Tracy Unified, Jefferson and Lammersville school districts have gone to Memuro, a farming town of about 30,000 residents, and to Tracy’s other sister city, Velas, the Azores.
“The student ambassadors build lifetime friendships with people in the countries they visit,” Minner said in a prepared statement. “Their experiences help them mature into responsible and appreciative adults who are better able to communicate with others.”
The Sister City agreement between Tracy and Memuro was signed during the August 1989 Bean Festival by Mayors Michio Suzuki of Memuro and Lester “Scotty” Scott of Tracy.
A month later, a Tracy delegation headed by Mayor Clyde Bland went to Memuro to help celebrate its 90th anniversary.
Tracy’s Sister Cities Park, in the Circle B Ranch subdivision in south Tracy, was dedicated in March 1998 by representatives of Tracy, Memuro and Velas.
The 25th anniversary of the start of the Sister Cities program will be celebrated at a dinner March 8 at Tracy Community Center, 950 East St. Tickets for the fundraising event, $35 per person, can be purchased by calling Lynette Holtz, event coordinator, at 612-9056.