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City Manager

Midland City Hall -  333 W. Ellsworth St.  Midland, MI 48640  Phone: 989-837-3300

Sister City Relationship - Handa, Japan

The City of Midland maintains a sister city relationship with the City of Handa, Japan. This relationship was formed in 1981, and includes a thriving student exchange program.

Click here for more on the 2014 student exchange program.

The sister city relationship between Handa and Midland began when The Dow Chemical Company considered a plan to locate a manufacturing facility in the city of Handa. The mayor of Handa at that time was interested in knowing what kind of neighbor Dow would be to his community. After a visit to Midland, Handa became our community's sister city, a relationship that continues to this day.

Delegations from both Handa and Midland have visited each other's countries on several occasions to learn more about each's culture and industry. Over the years, our communities have exchanged ideas and gifts to show our appreciation for one another's cultural differences and similarities.  A gift for our 10th anniversary as sister cities - the beautiful Japanese Stone Lantern garden located behind the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library - was constructed by our Handa friends. Midland reciprocated by sending a bronze statue signifying the importance of family.

Most recently, in October 2011, a delegation from Handa City, including Mayor Sumio Sakakibara, visited Midland to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our two communities' friendship. Handa City presented a beautiful gift of framed artwork to the citizens of Midland that is proudly displayed at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library. The City of Midland reciprocated with a hand-crafted quilt made by the Amish, a small population in the Great Lakes Bay Region who live a quiet, simple lifestyle as an expression of their religious beliefs.

The sister city relationship continues to be a strong example of cross-cultural appreciation and exchange. For more details, call 989-837-3307.

Handa, Japan Mayor Sumio Sakakibara meets former mayor R. Drummond Black and present mayor Maureen Donker; Japanese Garden at Library; Handa mayor shares musical talent with Midland friends

Handa Facts

Location:  Handa is located in the center of the Chita Peninsula, which lies south of Nagoya and faces Kinuura Bay.

Population:  Nearly 120,000

Industries:  Production plants for sake, vinegar, soy sauce, soy bean paste and cotton. Handa's Kinuura Port has attracted larger industries such as iron and steel, machinery, metals, ceramics and chemicals.

Agriculture:  Dairy farming and flower, vegetable and rice farms

Handa's Government:  The current mayor of Handa is Sumio Sakakibara.