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Published on Thursday, March 21, 2019

San Antonio to Host 2019 Japan-Texas Leadership Symposium

Event highlights strong ties between U.S. and Japan; Discussion topics include: economic development, military cooperation, education and culture

CONTACT: Carlos Valenzuela, (210) 207-3919


SAN ANTONIO (March 21, 2019) – San Antonio will host the Japan-Texas Leadership Symposium at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on Wednesday, March 27. The first-of-its-kind symposium is a collaborative effort between the City of San Antonio, Sister Cities International and the Koyamada International Foundation, with support from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


The inaugural event will attract more than 250 distinguished participants, including international officials, citizen diplomats, mayors and elected officials, business executives and cultural performers. Mrs. Karen Pence, Second Lady of the United States and Honorary Vice Chairwoman of Sister Cities International, will deliver a keynote address on citizen diplomacy.


San Antonio’s own longstanding Sister City relationship with Kumamoto, Japan was established in 1987 and has yielded a number of successful international exchanges and economic development opportunities over its three-decade history. The U.S. and Japan share the highest number of Sister Cities between two nations – with more than 400 links across cities, states and prefectures in both countries.


“The Japan-Texas Leadership Symposium will not only provide a stage to celebrate citizen diplomacy, it will also explore how Japan and the United States can work together to tackle our most pressing issues at the national and subnational level,” said Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of the City of San Antonio and Chairman of Sister Cities International. “Our deep-rooted relationship with Japan is vital to our city. San Antonio is home to approximately 40 Japanese companies and our decades-long Sister City relationship with Kumamoto, as well as our ties to the Mie and Aichi Prefectures, has spurred countless educational, economic and cultural exchanges for the betterment of both communities.”


During the day-long program, participants will attend plenary sessions and panel discussions featuring distinguished experts on topics including opportunities in emerging industries, the importance of culture in forging bilateral relations, women’s leadership, next generation entrepreneurship and military cooperation. The symposium will conclude with a networking reception featuring a special performance organized by Musical Bridges Around the World. 


The program is part of a two-year-long series of leadership conferences between the municipal leaders and community citizen diplomats of the two countries. This will lead to the first-ever All Japan-US Sister Cities Summit in October 2020, to take place in Japan following the Tokyo Olympics.


The event is sponsored by AMD; Port San Antonio; Brooks; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas LLC; VUTEX, Inc., Cole Chemical and Nissei Plastic Machinery America, Inc.


To learn more about the 2019 Japan-Texas Leadership Symposium, click here.


To apply for media credentials, contact Carlos Valenzuela, City of San Antonio’s Government and Public Affairs Department, at

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Categories: Economic Development