The signing of a Sister City agreement on the other side of the ocean Monday was obviously more than just a political photo opportunity Sunday to the hundreds of people gathered in the banquet room of the Rikuzentakata Capital Hotel. In fact, many said they felt it was more that luck and tides that brought people of the two cities together.
When the delegation arrived, late due to complications caused by a local earthquake, they were welcomed like celebrities before being taken on an extensive tour of city emergency facilities. After hours of meetings and discussions with local officials and emergency responders, the long day of travel and ended with the signing ceremony, which featured everything from Tokai drummers to a 93- year-old Samurai warrior, to an all-involved traditional dance and an all-involved photo session.
Crescent City Mayor Blake Inscore and Del Norte County Supervisor Chris Howard, along with Rikuzentakata Mayor Futoshi Toba and Rikuzentakata City Council Chair Akihiko Ito signed four copies of the agreement Sunday night, cementing the bond between the two cities. The delegation continued its mission early Tuesday morning with a day of emergency management training by Rikuzentakata officials.