At a Friday morning school assembly, Corona del Mar Middle School welcomed six students, an elementary school vice principal and a school board member visiting from Okazaki, Japan. The CdM students and their counterparts from Okazaki, one of Newport Beach's international sister cities, entertained one another through music and dance, and they exchanged gifts during lunch. Afterward, the Japanese delegation toured classes and learned about the differences between schools in California and Japan.
On Tuesday night, the Rotary Club of Newport Balboa was to host the Okazaki students and their American host families to a barbecue of hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as a pumpkin carving at the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach. The Japanese students were to have spent the day on a Rotary-led tour of of Newport Beach.
The student exchange program with Okazaki was started in 1982 by the late Newport-Balboa Rotarians Moe Hamill and Wendell Fish with the Rotary Club of Okazaki South. With the encouragement and leadership of Hamill and Fish and then Councilwoman Evelyn Hart, the Newport Beach City Council approved the creation of Newport Beach Sister City Assn. and the adoption of Okazaki, Japan as a Sister City in 1984. Shortly thereafter, Rotarians from Okazaki South presented and dedicated a Japanese Granite Lantern, located in Irvine Terrace Park, to the citizens of Newport Beach, and the city of Okazaki dedicated a granite statue, titled "Friends," at the Newport Beach Public Library.