Omihachiman - Japan

Delegates Sought for Michigan / Shiga Goodwill Mission

February 13, 2015
Contact:        Kathee McDonald

Goodwill Mission Celebrates Sister State Relationship, Delegates Sought

Lansing, MI – Since 1968, the State of Michigan has enjoyed a sister state relationship with Shiga Prefecture in Japan. The purpose of this relationship is to unite the people of the two states in everlasting bonds of friendship and promote understanding of the people of the world. In addition to the sister state relationship, 17 cities in Michigan have sister city relationships with cities in Shiga Prefecture.

One of the key components of the sister state and sister city relationships are annual goodwill missions between the two states, which offer opportunities for Michigan and Shiga residents to deepen friendships and cultural understanding between our sister states. These goodwill missions are truly unique experiences and have resulted in many lifelong friendships between past participants from Michigan and Shiga.

“We had the pleasure of traveling to Shiga, Japan as part of the 2011 Goodwill Mission,” said Charlie Cook of Marshall, MI, “Staying with a Japanese host family gives you a perspective of Japan that cannot be afforded to a typical tourist.” His wife Shirley, added, “We made lifetime friends and experienced Japanese hospitality and culture on a first-hand basis and cannot wait to go again.”

The Michigan-Shiga Sister State Board is currently seeking interested individuals to travel as delegates in the 2015 Goodwill Mission to Shiga, Japan. All residents of Michigan are welcome to participate. From October 11 to October 21, 2015 a delegation of 35 Michigan community members will enjoy a ten-day goodwill mission to Shiga, including home-stay experiences with Shiga families.

Individuals interested in participating in the 2015 Goodwill Mission to Shiga may contact Michigan-Shiga Sister State Board President Kathee McDonald or visit for more information and registration forms.

Registration forms and a $200 deposit must be received no later than May 1, 2015. The total cost of the trip is $2,700, which covers round-trip airfare between Lansing and Japan, ground transportation, lodging, and most meals. Also included are several tours and unique cultural experiences. Japanese language skills are helpful, but not necessary.