Japanese city, Marion IL share special friendship

Marion Friendship bench

MARION, IL (KFVS) - Marion, Illinois has been part of a Sister City program with city of Kanie Town, Japan since 2010. Despite the 6,000 mile distance, the relationship has grown over the years.

Each year the communities schedule alternate visits to learn about the local culture, business and education.

This year residents of Kanie Town are visiting Marion. Residents were greeted into town by an American-style pot luck dinner.

A dedication of a bench that is meant to represent the friendship of the two cities took place on Monday, March 25.

The Kanie Town/Marion Friendship Bench sits at downtown’s Tower Square.

The visiting delegation is made up of students and town leaders. Visiting students are staying with host families, which lets them take in as much of the local culture as possible.

Mayor Anthony Rinella spoke about what the bench represents between the two towns.

“Being able to develop a relationship with someone 6,000 miles away that your culture and their culture are so different but yet at anytime you can get together and be as one,” he said.

Marion hopes to bring a similar bench to Kanie Town next year when representatives from the city visit them.

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