SAPPORO BELL. As part of the 60th anniversary of the Portland-Sapporo Sister
City Association (PSSCA), a private celebration was held this month at the
Oregon Convention Center to re-dedicate the Sapporo Bell, a Japanese bell
that was gifted by business leaders in Sapporo to Portland as part of
PSSCA’s 30th anniversary. Pictured is a welcome ceremony for the bell held
at Tom McCall Waterfront Park after arriving by ship. A 30th-anniversary
ceremony to officially unveil the bell was held in February 1990 at the
brand new Oregon Convention Center. (Photo courtesy of the
Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association)
From The Asian Reporter, V29, #12 (June 17, 2019), page 11.
Sapporo Bell at the Oregon Convention Center re-dedicated
As part of the 60th anniversary of the Portland-Sapporo Sister City
Association (PSSCA), a private celebration was held this month at the Oregon
Convention Center. Portland mayor Ted Wheeler and Sapporo mayor Katsuhiro
Akimoto attended the event, which highlighted the association’s six decades
of prosperity and peace. A re-dedication of the Sapporo Bell, a Japanese
bell gifted by business leaders in Sapporo to Portland as part of PSSCA’s
30th anniversary, was a focus of the gathering.
Portland and Sapporo are separated by more than 4,000 miles but have many
similarities. They are close to the same latitude, are each about 150 years
old, and have metropolitan populations of close to 2 million. The two enjoy
beautiful settings and an appreciation of the outdoors. And they were also
established by pioneers — by loggers and fishermen — who capitalized on rich
natural resources in their respective regions.
PSSCA, founded in 1959, supports many forms of interaction, including
hosting visits of international delegations, encouraging educational
connections, facilitating political outreach, participating in and producing
Japan-themed events, and promoting communication, both local and
The mayors of both cities agreed in 1986 that they should cooperate in
the development of programs for the promotion of tourism as well as an
increase in trade and mutual economic development and activities to amplify
the feelings of friendship between the citizens of the cities.
Sister city associations foster and promote cross-cultural understanding
between the countries they unify. The Portland-Sapporo Sister City
Association is the organization that stewards the longest-running sister
city relationship in Portland, Oregon — and one of the oldest in the United
Portland sister city relationships exist with nine cities, including
Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Ulsan, South Korea; and Suzhou, in the People’s Republic
Re-dedicating the Sapporo Bell marked the first milestone of a massive
renovation project at the Oregon Convention Center.
"The re-dedication of the Sapporo Bell is the first milestone in
completing our nearly 18-month, $39-million renovation. Last fall, we broke
ground on the Oregon Convention Center plaza and interior renovation project
to coincide with the opening of the Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon
Convention Center," said Craig Stroud, executive director of the Oregon
The goal of the streamlined and enhanced plaza at the Oregon Convention
Center is to ease access and entry into the center through the primary
entrance. The updates to the interior spaces from the lobbies to the
ballrooms is intended to reinvigorate the center for local Portlanders as
well as improve national competitiveness.
To learn more about the Portland-Sapporo Sister City Association, visit <www.pssca.org>.