A delegation of 7 Long Beach representatives traveled to Yokkaichi, Japan to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Long Beach-Yokkaichi Sister City. Although briefly delayed by a typhoon they arrived in Yokkaichi on October 8th, 2013. Formal meetings were held with Mayor Tanaka and the City Assembly. An official reception was held at the Miyako Hotel in Yokkaichi which was attended by more than 100 citizens and officials of Yokkaichi including form Mayors.
Mike Vaughn, who lead the delegation was granted a Special Honorary Citizen Award for his contributions to the Sister City relationship. The Long Beach delegation grave large replica of the Queen Mary to the City of Yokkaichi as a memento of the 50 years of cooperation.
The delegation visited with local businesses, art councils and museum while in Yokkaichi. A visit to the Ise Shrine which is celebration a special 20 year transformation was included along with a tour by the curator of the shrine. After an event filled 10 days, a farewell party was held which was attended by many of the citizens who had taken part in the events. Along with Taiko drums and other entertainment, Aki Vaughn, a member of the Long Beach delegation, was the hit of the entertainment as she sang for the friends and guest who attended.
The delegation returned to Long Beach on October 23rd to prepare for the arrival of the Yokkaichi delegation who were coming to Long Beach to complete the 50th Anniversary Celebration.