In support of the Kanayama
By Tony Hatano-Worrell
May 14, 2008
For 21 years, Ketchikan has had an outstanding international
exchange program with Kanayama, located in Gero City in Japan.
Students and adults who have been privileged to be able to go
to Kanayama realize that it is an honor, and not a right, to
be able to do so.
Based on mutual friendship, respect, and the desire to better
understand each other, it is only natural that the communities
on both sides of the Pacific Ocean must be very particular in
whom they send as representatives of their countries.
Both communities hold classes for several months before the exchange
takes place, and students and adults learn the rules of respect,
safety, and commitment necessary for such an important and life-changing
experience. Those few who refuse to be committed members of
the group, or to abide by its rules of safety and mutual respect,
are understandably disallowed from traveling as a representative.
The bonds of friendship that have grown stronger and deeper over
the years are a wonderful thing to behold. To think that our
two countries were enemies at war not that many years ago and
now we have learned to be true, deep friends how amazing!
The light of this candle of friendship has been blazing for all
to see for over two decades now. And there are many, many people
who have expanded their world views and changed their lives for
the better, thanks to the Kanayama Exchange.
Unthinkable as it may seem, there are those who would badmouth
this gift of a program simply because they have been disappointed
to find that it is indeed necessary to keep the rules of commitment
and safety to ensure the privilege of going.
I urge as many of you as have been touched positively by this
program to write in support of it, and to speak out in support
of its funding which is so necessary to keep the candle blazing
From the bottom of my heart,
Kanayama, Gero City, Japan
About: "I was raised in
Ketchikan from preschool through Kayhi, and lived there for over
In 1987 I was privileged to meet the first exchange group from
I have been a guide and coordinator for the Japanese groups,
head chaperone for a Ketchikan group, and have been living in
Kanayama and working for the exchange 15 years.
My wife taught in Ketchikan as the exchange teacher from Kanayama
during the 1992 to '93 school year, and our family wholeheartedly
supports the volunteers in Ketchikan who break their backs to
offer this international exchange of friendship to the people
of both countries."
Received May 14, 2008 - Published
May 14, 2008
Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:
Your Opinion Letter to the Editor
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
E-mail your letters
& opinions to email@example.com
Your full name, city and state are required for publication.
Stories In The News