Matsumae Castle Cherry Blossom
Courtesy of Hokkaido Official Tourism Website 

October 19, 2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of a special Sister State Agreement between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Hokkaido, Japan. The agreement became official in 1990.

The connections between Japan and Massachusetts actually date back to the 19th century, when agricultural expert William S. Clark of Amherst College and later UMass/Amherst was engaged by the Japanese Government to establish Sapporo Agricultural College, which later became Hokkaido University.

The Massachusetts Hokkaido Association was formed to acknowledge and nurture the historic relationship between the two destinations.   Hokkaido is the large northern island prefecture of Japan.

The Sister State arrangement encourages cultural, educational, scientific and economic exchanges. In addition, there are special affiliations between the University of Massachusetts and Hokkaido University, and two sister city relationships Concord with Nanae and Springfield with Takikawa City.

In related news, the Japan Festival Boston has announced that the 9th Annual Japan Festival Boston, normally held in April but cancelled due to Covid-19, will take place December 5-6, 2020.  Check back for the lineup of activities and links to register.

Find more information on business opportunities, visas and travel to Japan, visit the Japan Consulate in Boston.