Gov. Jay Inslee (left) and Hyogo Prefecture Gov. Toshizo Ido listen to the U.S. national anthem Monday in Olympia. A delegation of 250 people from Hyogo visited the state to celebrate 50 years of a sister-state relationship.
OLYMPIA -- Leaders from Washington state and the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan have signed a joint agreement commemorating the 50th anniversary of their sister-state relationship.Gov. Jay Inslee and Hyogo Gov. Toshizo Ido signed the document renewing their ties Monday afternoon in the Senate chambers. Ido is among 250 members of a delegation from Hyogo visiting the state. Earlier in the day, the delegation was greeted by Inslee on the steps of the state Supreme Court. The agreement sets several objectives, including working to promote trade as well as academic and research exchanges between universities in both regions.Former Washington Gov. Al Rosellini first began the sister-state relationship during a visit to Japan in 1963. Now, 12 cities in Washington state have sister cities in Hyogo.Hyogo is a prefecture of more than 5 million people.