Mansfield Center hosts Kumamoto delegates to celebrate 40-year relationship

Skylar Rispens

Despite language barriers and over 5,000 miles separating them, Kumamoto, Japan and the state of Montana share plenty of similarities.

The two sister states both struggle with housing crunches and environmental disasters. They also share a common commitment to expanding opportunities for budding entrepreneurs and agriculture producers.

A delegation from Kumamoto visits the University of Montana.

TOM BAUER, Missoulian

Addressing complex issues like those requires leaders to think outside the box. Fortunately, the two have been collaborating for the past 40 years to find creative solutions through a sister-state relationship initiated by Mike Mansfield while he served as a U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

On Wednesday, that relationship continued on as the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana hosted a delegation from Kumamoto.

“We are deeply honored to host the delegation from Kumamoto on the University of Montana campus as we all celebrate the 40th anniversary of our sister-state relationship,” said UM President Seth Bodnar. “Global partnerships and international education are important components of the world-class education that UM is proud to offer our students.”

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