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Sister Cities

In 2005 the Marion Carnegie Library, with a $30,000 grant from the Illinois State Library, developed a Japanese resource collection to aid families transferred to Aisin, Illinois. This began the Southern Illinois Japanese Friendship Program and the grant served as a spearhead to open Marion up to Japanese families associated with Aisin. The partners at that time were Aisin Manufacturing, Marion Carnegie Library, City of Marion, Marion Chamber of Commerce, REDCO and the Marion Unit 2 Schools. This group thought that such a program might be beneficial to the long-term relations between Marion, Aisin, Japan and Illinois.

A second grant was received in 2006 – The library has over 850 books in Japanese, 150 in English about Japan, five magazine subscriptions and over 400 DVDs.

In 2007 the City began seeking a Sister City in the Japanese prefunct (prefecture) where Aisin is located. In 2008, The Mayor of Kanie, School Superintendent, and several city officials along with eight students visited Marion. In 2009 the city began discussions with Kanie to establish a Sister-City relationship. In November, 2009 the Marion Chamber agreed to form a committee to plan the upcoming Sister City visit and program.

On March 26, 2010, the Cities of Marion, Illinois and Kanie Town, Aichi Prefecture, Japan formally recognized each other as Sister Cities.

In 2010, 2012 and 2013, representatives from Kanie, including city officials and students, visited Marion.

In 2010, Marion sent two adult representatives to Kanie and in 2014, six Marion High School students and four adults who represented the City of Marion, the Marion Chamber of Commerce and the community, traveled to Kanie.

In 2015, from March 24-28, Mayor of Kanie Town, Junichi Yokoe, along with other city officials and 12 students visited Marion.

Marion Chamber of Commerce members interested in learning more about the Sister City relationship are urged to join the Sister City Committee.

Please contact the Marion Chamber of Commerce for more information.

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