Burlington ON, March 11, 2011 – The City of Burlington and Mayor Rick Goldring send heartfelt condolences to the people of Japan and to the residents of our sister city, Itabashi.
“In times of crisis it is important to reach out and let your friends know that your thoughts and prayers are with them,” said Mayor Goldring. “Most days to us Itabashi seems to be almost next door, but a catastrophe like this reminds us that our good friends are a world away.”
Mayor Goldring hopes to speak personally with Itabashi Mayor Takeshi Sakamoto as soon as possible.
Burlington and Itabashi have a long, deep connection. A twinning agreement between Burlington and Itabashi was signed at Burlington City Hall by former Mayor Roly Bird and former Mayor Keizo Kurihara on May 12, 1989.
The relationship has developed since that time through regular citizen visits, official delegations and memorable anniversary celebrations. Most recently, in 2009, Burlington’s renowned Teen Tour Band visited Itabashi to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of our twinning.
A pair of original Robert Bateman paintings hang in corresponding city halls – a local great blue heron in Itabashi and a Japanese red-crowned crane in Burlington.
According to media reports, a devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's northeast coast Friday, triggering a deadly tsunami that washed far inland, swamping towns, sweeping away a train and sparking massive fires that burned through the night. The quake is the most powerful ever experienced in Japan.
The exact death toll was not immediately clear, but early figures suggest more than 1,000 dead.
Itabashi is located on the eastern coast of Japan, adjacent to Tokyo.
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