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.
Founded in 1995 by Hsu Cheng-Rong; Chio-Tian has made a name for itself through the methods in which they have taken traditional Taiwanese temple performing arts to the stage thus gaining recognition abroad and at home for their contribution to promoting a very unique culture of Taiwan.
They are also recognized in Taiwan as a troupe that helps to give delinquent youths of Taiwan a second chance in life through a strict yet educational regime of performance and self-endurance. They provide a sense of family for these youths who have lost their way and through encouragement and at times discipline, these youths are able to turn their lives around and start anew.
September 16, 2017 – Chio-Tian Folk Drums and Arts Troupe
Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Venue: Stafford Centre Performing Arts Theatre Address: 10505 Cash Road, Stafford, Texas 77477
Sponsor Tickets: $50, $20 $10
Contact: TECO Houston-Culture Center, 713.789.4995 Roger Yen, 832.660.7063 Cecilia Chang, 281.620.5557 Glacier Optical, 713.774.2773
Come join the Houston-Taipei Society in a solo singing recital performed by one of our HTS Board of Directors, Yuaner Cheng. This is a family friendly event and HTS members are encouraged to invite their family and friends for a special evening.
Yuaner Cheng will perform a variety of 19 songs in 6 different languages: Chinese, English, Taiwanese, German, French and Latin.
Date: Saturday, September 16th, 2017 Time: 7:30 pm Place: Houston Baptist University, Belin Chapel, 7502 Fondren Road, Houston, Texas 77074 Admission: Free and an elegantly packaged desert will be distributed following the recital.
On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, Sister Cities of Houston President Harry Gee, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Director Mr. and Mrs. Louis Huang and staff, along with Houston-Taipei Society President Daniel Chen and HTS member Jackson Chang, met at Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner’s office to present a donation to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
On September 21, 2017, the Houston Karachi Sister City Association, Hanmi Bank and the “Alliance of Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Efforts” hosted a “Community Outreach Reception Benefiting Hurricane Harvey Recovery Efforts” at Hanmi Bank.
Mr. C.G. Kum – President & CEO of Hanmi Bank Contributed $ 25,000.00 to Alliance organizations: Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) for US Muslim Organizations Harvey Relief Fund and Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) for Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts. Thanks to Mr. Mohammad Tariq and Mr. Sam Rukh for all your efforts.
In the photo from L to R: George Baylor, Cristal Montañéz Baylor Executive Director Hashoo Foundation USA and Houston-Karachi Sister City Association board member, C. G. KUM CEO & President Hanmi Bank, Muhammad Tariq Senior EVP Hanmi Ban and Muhammad Saeed Sheikh president Houston-Karachi Sister City Association.
On Saturday September 23, members of the Houston-Taipei Society along with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston and other Taiwanese organizations joined in a farewell Party for Director General Mr. and Mrs. Louis Huang. Best of luck in to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Huang.