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The Warren County Courthouse stands in the background as students pose in front of the historic downtown fountain when students from Japan made a visit to McMinnville in the summer of 2016. Pictured are, first row from left, Yuto Abe, Jensen Smith, Mizuki Abe, Natsuki Murakami, Sawa Sato, Runa Kato, Yoko Ishida. Back row, Yuto Yamaguchi, Tony Curtis, Chance Hale, Icie-Mae Craven, Seina Homma, Yuzuki Takoi, Mayor Jimmy Haley, Marynia Harris, Brooke Grissom, Deryn Allen, Rachel Bell, Kinsley Lorance and Emily Fults.

If you have a student who would like to visit Japan, now is the time to act.
Applications are being distributed at area schools and are now being accepted for the annual Sister Cities exchange program. The program is open to students who are currently in grades 7-9.
Students will travel to Mikawa, Japan this summer from July 23 to Aug. 2. Japanese students visited McMinnville in 2016.
“This is a culturally enriching, eye-opening experience,” said Sister Cities chair Leigh Ann Stewart. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Sister Cities International was created by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 at the conference on citizen diplomacy. He reasoned people of different cultures could celebrate and appreciate their differences and build partnerships. The program has been endorsed by every president since.
The McMinnville/ Mikawa sistership started in 1993 under the administration of Mayor Norman Rone. Last summer marked the 22nd student exchange.
Ten local students are chosen to participate in the program, with Warren County’s delegation going to Japan in 2017. Applications are now being distributed to students in grades 7-9 to begin the process. 
As chair, Stewart is joined by a group of board members. Together they make all the arrangements for the guests while they are in the United States. Their visit starts in Washington, D.C., before heading south to Nashville and finally to McMinnville.
Applications are available in schools or contact Stewart at 808-3201 for more information.