Governor Jack Markell promised a delegation from the Miyagi Prefecture in Northern Japan that he would visit there sometime after the November election.
The invitation came in the form of a letter and taped invitation by the Governor of the northeastern Japanese state (Prefecture), Yoshihuro Murai. It was delivered by a group for Miyagi traveling Delaware to thank groups for their generosity in the wake of the earthquake and tsumani that ravaged that part of Japan on March 11, 2011.
The meeting with Markell also marked the 15th anniversary of the relationship between Delaware and Miyagi. The Governor listened intently as a member of the delegation gave Markell a slide show on how the area is recovering 10 months after the are was wiped out from the devastation.
In his taped message Governor Murai thanked Delawareans for their generosity. He noted there have been signs of that generosity throughout the region. It was highlighted last September when Vice President Joe Biden visited Miyagi.
The Governor joked the delegation leader Takamas Chiba about his visit to the Dogfish Head brewery on Sunday. Markell said he always enjoyed visiting there. Chiba has Delaware connections. He attended the University of Delaware between 1995-1997 as well as interning the Office of International Trade Office for the state of Delaware.
Delaware charities banded together and collected over $100,000 in relief aid for the region after the extent of the devastation was known. Then Governor Mike Castle started the relationship between the two states.
Secretary of State Jeffery Bullock also attended today’s meeting. He visited the area in October to show support for Miyagi. “This is a testament to the importance both sides place on this partnership,” Markell told Chiba.
“We have been very impressed with your recovery and the spirit of the Japanese people,” said Markell.
The Governor was also impressed with the Japanese election system. Markell was told Governor Murai was just re-elected. Chiba told Markell the election cycle was two weeks. “Ours lasts two years,” joked Markell.