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County News

Posted on: August 11, 2023

Presentation from 4-H Japanese Exchange student Ms. Maari Murakawa from Hyogo Prefecture, Japan

Japan Exchange Student

At this weeks County Commissioner meeting we had a presentation from Ms. Maari Murakawa a Japanese Exhange student from Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Maari is being hosted by one of our Queen Anne’s County University of Maryland Extension Office Educators and presented the Commissioners with a letter from the Mayor in her home town. She talked about Nishinomiya and event recited a story to introduce some of her own culture. You can read the letter from Mayor Ishii Toshiro below.

From the City of Nishinomiya

July 18, 2023

Dear Mayor:

As the Mayor of the City of Nishinomiya, it is a distinct pleasure to extend my warmest greetings to you and your residents. Our student representative, Ms. Murakawa Maari is truly honored to be given a chance to visit your wonderful city and stay with a host family under the cultural exchange program offered by the Labo International Exchange Foundation. Nishinomiya is primarily a residential community of 484,000 people and is known as a Cultural, Educational, and Residential City. Its citizens enjoy the natural splendor of the Rokko Mountain Range to the north and beautiful Osaka Bay to the south. Nishinomiya is located between the two major metropolitan areas of Osaka and Kobe.

Young people dream big dreams and are filled with the enthusiasm to make them happen. Ms. Murakawa has devoted time to prepare for this wonderful opportunity. I heard that she has done research about Kyoto to share Japanese culture with her new friends. She is also ready to recite a story called “The Sky-Blue Seed.” As a young ambassador, she will endeavor to introduce her own culture with pride and confidence while learning about other cultures.

Thank you for sharing young community. I am sure that young people will treasure these cross-cultural experiences for years to come. It would be much appreciated if you could extend special consideration to this meaningful program in order for to attain her objectives.

Best wishes to you and your residents for continues good health, happiness, and prosperity.


Ishii Toshiro

Mayor of Nishinomiya

Picture L-R

County Administrator Todd Mohn, , County Commissioners Jim Moran and Chris Corchiarino, Ms. Murakawa Maari, Host family Tina Thelen-Squibb, Associate Dean / Associate Director of UME Dr. Jinhee Kim, Area extension Director Mr. Paul Rickert, County Commissioners Phil Dumenil and Jack Wilson

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