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Our History

The State of Washington and Hyogo Prefecture celebrated the 60th Anniversary of their sister-state relationship in 2023.

In 1963, the director of the Kobe-America Cultural Center put forth a proposal for the prefecture of Hyogo and the state of Washington to become sister states. His proposal was based on the likenesses the areas shared, from agriculture and business, to environment and each state's status as an important cultural and economic hub in the western region of its country. Kobe and Nishinomiya's existing status as sister cities with Seattle and Spokane also influenced the decision. In October of that year, during a visit to Hyogo by Governor Albert Dean Rosellini, the sister-state relationship was signed into existence.


Twenty-seven years later, on May 1st 1990, the Hyogo Business & Cultural Center was established in Seattle for the purpose of facilitating continuing growth in the sister-state relationship. They have been working to promote and support connections between the two regions ever since.

October 22, 1963. Signed agreement on a sister state alliance between Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture and the United States of America’s Washington State.

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