Frankfort has new sister city
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Frankfort has a new sister city, Shimamoto, Japan. Sister city organizers say they’re excited to share cultural exchanges and provide opportunities for kids. After a two year effort, Frankfort now has a special link to Japan. The Mayor of Shimamoto signed a sister city resolution with Frankfort just this Spring.
The man responsible says Japan and Kentucky have many links, but the new sister city has a special connection to Kentucky distilleries.
“Kentucky’s other signature industry is whiskey and so a couple years ago Jim Beam and a company in Japan called Suntory formed Beam Suntroy. Of course Frankfort has a large Beam Suntory bottling facility here,” said Bill Marshall.
Shimamoto is home to the Suntory Yamazaki distillery making the sister city a perfect match. Marshall said officials are also looking at possible partnerships with Japanese companies in Franklin County.
“We do horses, we do whiskey, but we also do cars and there are a lot of companies that are over here from Japan. Of course Toyota came to Kentucky first back in the 80’s. Ever since then Kentucky and Japan have enjoyed a very special relationship.”
Along with the cultural experiences the new sister city has to offer, starting this fall, students in the county will be able to take Japanese classes.
“We really have a great opportunity to expose our kids to some experiences that provide international flavor and in this case its going to be with the Japanese culture and language as a part of this sister cities,” said Franklin Independent’s Superintendent.
Barber says it exposes the students to a different way of thinking and introduces them to a new culture they might not understand. Bill Marshall says adding Japanese language classes for Frankfort and Franklin County students will be the first step to creating student exchanges.