Winter 2013
Incorporated April 5, 1948, Hekinan is a city of 73,000 people an hour's train ride south of Nagoya in central Japan. Nearly 4,000 foreigners live there. Like Edmonds, it is a water city, surrounded by a lake, a river and two bays, with access to the port of Kinuura, so it is no surprise that it has one of largest thermal power plants in the world. Fishing is important in the city, and the Hekinan Seaside Aquarium has over 3,000 fish of 300 species from all over Japan.

Hekinan is home to over 400 factories in the automobile (Toyota), biotechnology, sake brewery, soy sauce, metal, roofing tile, and numerous food industries. It has a different flavor than Edmonds but its citizens are as warm and friendly as those here.

One fourth of the city area is farmland, and it's one of the two largest producers of figs in Japan. Being rural, houses are larger than those in cities and the lifestyle a little more relaxed. You can see glimpses of Hekinan in this online microblog.        

Crane Hekinan City HallThe delegation will enjoy seeing the Steve Jensen aluminum sculpture of a crane in front of Hekinan’s City Hall, placed in 1998 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the city, and the 10th year of our Sister City relationship. The crane, a symbol of good luck and long life, was chosen to echo Hekinan's theme, "As in the past, and on into the future, Hekinan walks together with everyone."

The city library seems a sister library to Edmonds, and you can see photos of it and other scenes in Hekinan with English translation here. In the photos on this page are the traditional Japanese-style buildings of the Kokonoe mirin (sweet sake condiment) plant.

The Mayor of Hekinan, Masanobu Negita, gave his 2013 online New Year's greetings to citizens here. Similar to Mayor Earling's new business development initiatives and recent downtown renovation to make the city even more attractive to visitors, Mayor Negita reminded citizens of last September's "Hekinan Economic Restart Declaration." His page, via an Internet translation site, shows an involvement with citizen's lives and plans for the future strong development of the city.

Winter in Hekinan is sunnier and windier than in Edmonds, and everyone looks forward to following the Cherry Blossom Front in late March, as the school and fiscal years are ending, and as they restart April 1st. Another online blog with typical scenes in Hekinan is here. It is easy to see that Hekinan is an ideal Sister City for Edmonds and that the tone of both cities emphasizes citizen involvement, enjoyment of nature in parks and beaches, and economic strengthening for the future.

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