As a private volunteer organization, Iizuka Friendship Network (I.F.N.) has been working on support activities for foreign students for about 20 years. Additionally, cooperating with Iizuka International Exchange Propulsive Council, we have been participating in Japanese speech meets of foreign students, English speech meets of high school students, and international comprehensive presentations of elementary school students. Through these activities, we felt keenly the importance of internationalization. About that time, we accidentally came to know that Sunnyvale City, one of the central cities of Silicon Valley, was looking for a friendship city, and we made contact with Mr. Mark Kato, a central person of this activity. And then we found their purpose of interchange was “youth development,” so we worked together with the superintendent of education of Iizuka City and other educational institutions, furthermore, we obtained the Mayor’s approval, and luckily, we executed the conclusion of friendship cities.

The activities of Sunnyvale City are mainly of private NPOs, and they are already connecting with I.F.N. closely.

In Iizuka, the city hall and I.F.N. began to join forces with each other to be active. Sunnyvale and Iizuka have already started to exchange little by little. For example, elementary, junior high, and high school students in both cities have begun to interchange New Year’s cards, but we are now thinking that, after this, we will cooperate on interchange between schools and homestays and studies in each other cities in which Iizuka City is taking the lead, and at the same time, put more efforts into cultural exchange in which the private sector will take the initiative.

We can think of encouraging, exchanging, and supporting venture firms in the future, but first of all, we will take action concentrating on “youth development.” Besides that, we want to expand widely this activity to the common citizenry.

I sincerely implore you to understand the point of our activities and for exceptional cooperation and assistance. Thank you very much.

Iizuka Friendship Network
Chief Director

Osamu Nawata

Osamu Nawata
picture of Chief Director Osamu Nawata

Chief Director
Osamu Nawata
Director of Dr. Nawata's Office
Guest Professor of Kyushu Institute of Technology

Graduated from medical department of Kumamoto University. Founded Iizuka Friendship Network in 1995, and has been supporting foreign students in Iizuka. Founded Iizuka International Exchange Propulsive Council in 2006, and had been the president for long time. Also supporting the foreign internship program, “Breakthrough Asia,” which now consists of ten colleges and universities in Fukuoka.
picture of Vice Chief Director Takaaki Chijiwa

Vice Chief Director
(In charge of foreign students)

Takaaki Chijiwa
Chief Priest of Honsei Temple
Chairman of Sponsoring Body
for Boy and Girl Scout in Iizuka

picture of Vice Chief Director Hideki Shoda

Vice Chief Director, and
Head of the Secretariat
(In charge of youth development)

Hideki Shoda
President of HAW International
Guest Professor of Kyushu Institute of Technology

(In charge of planning and public relations)

Hiroyuki Hashimoto
Former Director of Dr. Hashimoto's Office
Masao Miyajima
Board Chairman of Fukuho Teisan
Former Chairman of Public Safety Commission of Fukuoka

Makoto Katamine
Superintendent of Education in Iizuka
Masakazu Watanuki
Chairman of the Board of Directors of
Japan Global Initiative Association

Mark Kato
President of Sunnyvale Sister City Association

Support for Foreign Students
We support foreign students of universities around Iizuka City, such as the department of computer science and systems engineering of Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kinki University Faculty of Humanity-Oriented Science Engineering, and Fukuoka Prefectural University.

For about 20 years, we have been doing support, such as finding residence, renting out furniture and bicycles collected and recycled from neighborhood, holding Japanese lesson classes and exchange parties with neighbors, and providing opportunities of cultural experience for foreign students to live and learn more easily in Iizuka.

Support for Youth Exchange with Sunnyvale City
We support students living in Iizuka of from elementary schools to universities to exchange with students of the same ages of Sunnyvale City, which is a friendship city of Iizuka, about such a wide range of areas as education, culture, and sports, and to grow up into global talent.

We helped 10 junior high school students and one high school student from Sunnyvale stay in Iizuka, and provided exchange opportunities in schools, with host families, and with neighbors in June 2014.

(Inside of Dr. Nawata's Office),
334 Yokota,
Iizuka, Fukuoka,
820-0044, Japan