February 7, 2018 – White House Press Release

As the Honorary Vice Chairwoman for Sister Cities International, Second Lady Karen Pence participated in a meeting and cultural presentation of the Youth Ambassador Exchange, a program through the Houston, Texas-Chiba Sister City Relationship. Mrs. Pence met with the Mayor of Chiba-city, Toshihito Kumagai, five middle school students from last year’s Youth Ambassador Exchange program, and the teacher who served as the chaperone for the exchange program.

The annual Houston-Chiba Sister City Youth Ambassador Program is considered to be one of the most important elements of the sister city relationship. In alternating years, middle school students, along with a chaperone, visit their counterpart’s city. The meeting opened with Mayor Kumagai offering greetings from Chiba-city, Japan and Mrs. Pence offering greetings from the United States.

The meeting included a presentation by the five Japanese students who participated in the Youth Ambassador Exchange program. Mrs. Pence learned about the students’ visit to Houston last year where they met with city officials, attended classes at a Houston middle school, and toured local sights. Through the stories shared, Mrs. Pence gained an understanding of what it is was like for the students to experience home and school life in a culture different from their own.

“The Houston, Texas-Chiba Sister City relationship is a 45-year relationship, bringing together cities and people to experience each other’s culture,” said Mrs. Karen Pence. “It was an honor and pleasure to visit with the Mayor, students, and their chaperone. This was a great opportunity to represent the United States and continue the cultural relationship between our country and Japan.”

After participation in the sister city presentation, Mrs. Pence visted the Hama-rikyu Gardens in Tokyo. She was joined by Mrs. Chikako Aso, wife of Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso. Together, they enjoyed the beautiful views of the gardens. Following the tour, the Second Lady met with Mrs. Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On Thursday, Mrs. Pence will visit the Airman and Family Readiness Center at Yokota Air Base where she will meet with military spouses.

To stay updated on Mrs. Pence’s events, follow her on Twitter at, @SecondLady.

About Houston-Chiba Sister City Relationship

The Houston, Texas—Chiba City, Japan sister city relationship was established in 1972. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) invited to Japan a Houston delegation. The delegation approached the Japan Municipal League for International Friendship to ask about partnering with a Japanese city. Houston and Chiba City identified a number of shared interests and characteristics, for example, both are important port cities with strong industrial bases. After consideration and their respective municipal approvals, on October 24, 1972, the cities executed a sister-city agreement.

The official press release can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/second-lady-karen-pences-visit-japan-shines-light-sister-city-relationship/


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  • 24


    6:30 pm-10:00 pm

    It’s movie night at Houston-Leipzig featuring the movie: Lola Rennt! – Run Lola Run.

    Thursday, August 24, 2017

    6:30 pm

    427 Lovett Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77006.

    For more details and to RSVP please visit:


  • 29


    5:30 pm-7:00 pm

    East West Bank/Conference Room – On the last Tuesday of each month, the Board of Directors of Sister Cities of Houston meet to discuss ongoing business and initiatives. The Board is composed of five elected members of the Executive Committee, four at large board members and one ex officio representative from each Sister City organization.

  • 29


    6:00 pm-8:00 pm

    Houston-Tampico Sister City Association invites you to the opening ceremony of “Destination CDMX” (“Destino CDMX”).

    Selected images of the history of tourism from the U.S. to Mexico City from 1873-1957.

    Marco Bracamontres, curator

    Opening reception:
    Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2017
    Time: 6:00 – 8:00 pm

    Houston City Hall
    901 Bagby St.
    Houston, Texas 77002

    Free street parking after 6:00 pm

    Generously supported by:
    University of Houston
    City of Houston

    In memory of Professor of Tourism Rodolfo Casparius (U of H)

    (281) 793-8577

  • 30


    6:00 pm-7:30 pm

    On August 30, 2017, members of the Houston-Taipei Society and Sister Cities of Houston will attend a private tour of the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

    Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the unique specimens of butterflies at the Cockrell Butterfly Center.

    Wednesday, August 30, 2017

    Houston Museum of Natural Science
    5555 Hermann Park Drive
    Houston, Texas 77030.

    Garage parking is available at the museum.

    Meet at 5:45 PM in front of McDonald’s in main hall past IMAX.

    6:00-7:30 PM

    Free for HTS members – please RSVP