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Kitakyushu, Japan

Tacoma's Sister City since 1959. 
In 1963 the five cities of Moji, Kokura, Wakamatsu, Yahata, and Tobata were amalgamated to form Kitakyushu, with a population of over 1 million.

The Kitakyushu area serves as a nucleus of industry, economy and culture for Western Japan. The city is framed by its natural beauty with clear blue seas to the green, lush mountains in the background.

This city has many festivals, which date back into ancient history. Especially noteworthy are the three big Gion festivals that decorate the summer months and draw visitors from all over Japan.

From its beginnings as the birthplace of Japan's iron and steel industry, Kitakyushu has grown into one of the largest iron and steel producing cities in Japan. In recent years, the city's value-added types of industry, such as the general machinery and electrical machinery industries, have been growing and the steel and raw materials industries have been diversifying into high processing and high value-added industries.

On August of 2003, The "Kitakyushu Performing Arts Center" opened in 2003. Citizens and visitors are able to enjoy entertainment ranging from local low-budget theater groups to world-class orchestras. The center offers three different-sized halls with the versatility to accommodate a Kabuki play to a Broadway performance.

Kitakyushu Sister City Committee Chair
Mr. Walter Allen