Sister Marina Exchanges Benefit Business, Promote Friendship
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Port of OlympiaSwantown’s Bruce Marshall (far right) participated in the sake ceremony honoringShin-Nishinomiya’s 20th anniversary in early October.Port Harbor Director Bruce Marshall was working side by side with marina and boatyard staff at Shin-Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor, Hyogo Prefecture, in early October.“I was struck by how similar our marinas are,” said Marshall, “We share common goals, concerns and challenges.”Marshall was surprised and thrilled when his Japanese counterparts invited him to join state and local dignitaries in celebrating the Japanese yacht harbor’s 20th anniversary. Leading the celebration were the Governor of Hyogo Prefecture, Minister of Finance, Minister of Tourism, and the Mayor.“The sake ceremony was an important part of the event,” said Marshall. “It even called for special attire.”A few weeks later, Shin-Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor Moorage Coordinator Mariko Kobayashi toured the Swantown facilities by water and land and examined marina operations. Swantown staff will always remember hearing Kobayashi talk about her responsibility to ensure no moorage for Japanese mafia vessels.Senator Karen Fraser escorted Kobayashi on a grand tour of the Capital City. Senator Fraser has worked tirelessly on developing the Washington’s Sister State relationship with Hyogo Prefecture. The creation of the Sister Marina Agreement is also largely a result of the Senator’s efforts.Naoya Nakadete, the Port’s first guest in the SisterMarina exchange, tours the Boatworks with MarineServices Supervisor Nathan Saline in October 2014.The first participant in the marina exchange program was Naoya Nakadete, Shin-Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor’s Assistant Manager. In October 2014, Nakadete and Swantown staff covered everything from on-dock operations to financial systems, Security Vessel to Travel-Lift, ending the day with fish stories and beer.The Port Commission hosted a luncheon welcoming Nakadete and honoring Senator Fraser. Representing Hyogo Prefecture was Norihisa Mizuguchi, executive director of Hyogo Business & Cultural Center, Seattle.The Sister Marina Agreement was established during the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Sister State relationship between Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, and Washington State in August 2013. The Port was proud to have Swantown Marina & Boatworks selected for the Sister Marina relationship, which is believed to be the first for both countries.The goals of the Hyogo Prefecture and Port of Olympia Sister Marina Agreement include:Technical exchange for the development of services, operations, and facilities;Sharing of knowledge and activities that promote environmental stewardship to improve sustainability and innovation; andCultural exchange to promote mutual understanding and further relations between the citizens of Japan and the United States.