Vallejo, California Sister City, Akashi, Japan

Akashi, Japan

September 14, 2021

In 1968, while on a visit to Japan, Berkeley Mayor Wallace Johnson met Akashi Mayor Masao Yoshikawa who expressed an interest in establishing a sister city relationship with, “a very progressive Bay Area city.”  As Berkeley already had a Japanese sister city, Mayor Johnson wrote Vallejo Mayor Florence Douglas who embraced the idea.  She referred the matter to the City Council and to John Buchanan, Chair of the Sister City Committee.  Negotiations began with Fumio Yoshikawa, the Mayor’s son who was then a student at Oakland Junior College.  After many visits to Vallejo by Fumio and several trans-Pacific telephone conversations between Mayor Yoshikawa and his son, both Mayors recommended the formalization of the sister city affiliation.  By coincidence, both City Councils adopted the recommendation and established the relationship on December 9, 1968.  Two weeks later, Mayor Yoshikawa, his Executive Secretary, Yoshikuni Suzuki, and his son, Fumio made the first formal visit to Vallejo where they were entertained and participated in a meeting of the City Council.