Submitted by the City of Lakewood.
Nearly 150 Japanese people will visit Washington State Sept. 18-24, 2018, for the 28th Japan-America Grassroots Summit, an international exchange program. Lakewood is one of the host cities for the visit.
After two days in Seattle the visitors, who range from high school students to senior citizens, will spend three days visiting with 14 localities across the state – including in Lakewood.
The Japan-America Society of the State of Washington, the host organization, is actively seeking volunteers to help with the upcoming visit. To sign up as a volunteer, and for more information about the upcoming Grassroots Summit, visit jassw.info/Grassroots2018.
“We live in a state that is highly dependent on international trade and international tourists, so cultivating relationships with other countries like Japan is critical to our state’s economic success,” explained Grassroots Summit Committee Co-Chair Tay Yoshitani. “Though these ‘home stays’ are relatively brief, many of these experiences will grow into lasting life-long friendships. Woven together, these experiences strengthen the fabric of a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between Washington state and Japan.”
The Summit alternates between the United States and Japan and will be in Seattle this year for the first time in its 28-year history. This year, it is hosted by the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington in association with the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle, city governments, sister city associations, and Japanese community organizations and leaders.
The Japan-America Grassroots Summit was founded in 1991 by the John Manjiro-Whitfield Commemorative Center for International Exchange to honor the friendship between John Manjiro Nakahara of Japan and Captain William Whitfield of the United States. It was pivotal in opening Japan after isolation and developing the early United States-Japan relationship. In honor of Captain Whitfield opening his home to John Manjiro, the Summit offers a unique three-night homestay experience for guests.