Many Years Ago in Otsuchi, Japan a Young Boy Lost His Father at Sea. Sitting on the Headlands Searching for his Father, he Wondered what was Across the Pacific. He Followed the Latitude Westward and Found Fort Bragg, California.
2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Fort Bragg and Otsuchi. The story of the program’s creation is compelling. When Ken Sasaki was a boy in Otsuchi, his father, a fisherman was lost at sea. Ken-san would sit on the bluffs overlooking the ocean, ever in search of any sign of his father. When he became older, he wondered what was on the other side of the ocean- wondering who lived over there and what were they like? He drew a line across the Pacific and found Fort Bragg on the exact same latitude. In 1997, he made contact and invited then Mayor, Lindy Peters to come visit Otsuchi.
In 2001, days after the tragic events of 9/11 that Lindy made his second trip to Otsuchi. The following year, September, 2002, the first student exchange of Fort Bragg students went to Otsuchi. Subsequent exchanges took place in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. In 2005 a Sister-City Proclamation was solidified by then Mayor, Dave Turner and Mayor Yamazaki.
Though the focus of our exchange program will be changing and evolving due to the devastation Otsuchi has sustained, our community will continue to stand by our beloved sister city, Otsuchi, Japan.