Nelson Delegation to Visit Sister City of Izu-shi in Japan

Nelson BC Canada – A community delegation will travel to Japan in mid-March to mark the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Nelson and Izu-shi, formerly known as Shuzenji.

Many Nelson residents will remember student exchanges in the past. This will be the first multigenerational delegation in many years. The delegation will include a variety of community members, families, students, educators, retirees, business and professional people, and civic leaders. The delegation will spend a few days in Tokyo, where members will visit the Canadian Embassy, before travelling to Izu-shi for a six-day visit.

Mayor Debra Kozak, who, along with Councillor Anna Purcell will be officially representing the City of Nelson, commented, “We are looking forward to staying with host families in Izu-shi and meeting with community members and City officials to renew friendships, build new ties, and create new opportunities for our citizens. She added “One opportunity involves our shared interest in cycling, particularly mountain biking. Izu-shi is the host city for several cycling events, including mountain biking and track cycling, for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Representatives of our own cycling community are excited about making connections with local cyclists and organizers.”

The delegation also plans to explore connections with retiree groups, students, the arts community, and local food growers and producers.

A return visit is planned for mid-summer, when a similar delegation from Japan will visit Nelson.

Nelson Izu-shi Friendship Society President John Armstrong remarked, “This special international relationship is one that Nelson can be proud of and which has contributed significantly to our multicultural community over the past 30 years. The Friendship Garden in Cottonwood Falls Park is an example of a lasting benefit of our sister city relationship that all our citizens can enjoy. Our Society members were inspired to plan and organize this community delegation as a way to recognize the anniversary and continue to develop our friendship.”

Former Nelson Mayor Gerald Rotering, who will also be participating, played a crucial role in initiating and establishing the sister city relationship in 1987. The City and the Friendship Society are very pleased that he will once again be supporting Nelson as a member of this delegation, thirty years after his first visit to Izu-shi.

The delegation is now full and no further applications can be accepted. Those interested in more information about the delegation or in participating in future activities can visit the Nelson Izu-shi Friendship Society’s website at or contact the Society at