In 2018, Findlay and Kawaguchi, Japan signed a historic Friendship Agreement. The agreement is designed to enrich their business, government and educational relations.
More than Thirty Years in the Making
Kawaguchi, a city of about 600,000 people, is located in the Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo. Findlay’s relationship with Kawaguchi began in 1984, when city officials attained financing from Dai-Kangyo bank for a $19.4 million bond issue to expand the city water treatment plant. A U.S. city seeking foreign investment was revolutionary at the time, and Findlay was featured in “The New York Times” as a trailblazer. https://www.nytimes.com/1984/11/20/business/foreign-banks-aid-us-cities.html
City officials realized there could be more mutual gain through a business, government and educational relationship with Japan, and sent a delegation to explore the idea. Leaders from Findlay and Japan have continued exchanging trips to the others’ country ever since.
As a result of the partnership, 14 Japanese businesses have located in Northwest Ohio, seven of which are in Findlay. A consortium of the companies, Friends of Findlay, was formed in 1991 and plays an important role connecting Japan with area communities.
The State of Ohio and the Saitama prefecture became sister states in 1990, and at that time three different educational exchanges began. One program remains today with the sole support of The University of Findlay - the Ohio Saitama University Scholarship (OSUS). The friendship agreement and its high school program will serve to renew and enhance this valuable educational exchange.