Japanese mayor thanks local students

EducationLocal GovernmentElementary SchoolsSchoolsYokohama (Japan)Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (2011)Miramar

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - It was a big day for students at Morning Creek Elementary School who hosted the Mayor of Yokohama, Japan

Ms. Fumiko Hayashi said she wanted to visit to personally thank the children for their support shortly after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami devastated her city. 

“My heart was swelling to find out that these, in fact, were the children who actually wrote those messages on that paper,” said Fumiko, through a translator, of the 10 meter long banner full of encouragements sent to her local elementary schools.

In addition to the banner, Morning Creek kids raised money for disaster relief and sent 1,000 paper cranes.

“We were just trying to be good citizens like to help the kids in need,” said fifth grader Brandon Henao.

During Tuesday’s school ceremony, students waved both the Japanese and American flags. Marines from MCAS Miramar also presented an American flag.   Hayashi presented the school with a thank you book that included pictures drawn by the Japanese students. 

“Just to have our students see the connection between their signing a banner and doing a little book sale and signing messages to see the impact that those words had on children so far away that were going through such a difficult time,” said Morning Creek Elementary School Principal Carol Osborne. “It just really helps the children see that those small acts really, really make a difference to people.”

Mayor Fumiko Hayashi is visiting San Diego for the 55th anniversary of sister-city relations between Yokohama and San Diego.  She is meeting with Mayor Jerry Sanders.

She said she felt compelled to visit the San Diego school and pass along a message from the students she represents.

“They were very, very happy,” she said. “In fact, they were so surprised to receive such a gift from such a faraway city that is San Diego and they were so impressed.”

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