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Sister City Program

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Sister City Program

Between the Sister Cities of Saroma, Japan, and Palmer, Alaska


In August of 1977, Edward Holmes of Palmer, Alaska, made contact with Mutsuhiro Ishiguro of Saroma, Japan via ham radio. Frequent ham radio communications eventually led Ed to visit Saroma in April of 1980. In May of 1980, it was decided that Palmer and Saroma would become Sister Cities. In October of the same year, a delegation from Saroma visited Palmer and signed the Sister City Charter.

Over the years, there have been many visits between the cities. These have included short and long-term student exchanges, work-study exchanges, language teacher exchanges, official delegations, and simply friends visiting friends. The friendship that Ed and Mutsuhiro helped start back in 1980 continues today. It is a friendship that has touched and even transformed many lives. Their legacy will live on as future generations experience the friendship of our two cities.


June – Palmer Middle School and High School students travel to Saroma for a cultural exchange.

July -  Palmer Pride hosts the Sister City Noodle Chute, a fun event for the whole family! 

September - Student exchange arrival from Saroma.  Japanese students and chaperones will visit the Palmer area for two weeks, staying with local host families and learning about life in the Mat-Su Valley. There will be many opportunities to interact and get to know our visiting friends.

Sister City Newsletter

Sister City News - Spring 2014
Sister City News - Winter 2013
Sister City News - Fall 2013
Sister City News - Summer 2013
Sister City News - Summer 2012

More Information

To get more involved or volunteer, see the Palmer Saroma Kai Facebook page at 

More information about the City of Saroma is available on Wikipedia at:,_Hokkaido

International Sister Cities Organization:

The Cities of Palmer and Saroma share exchanges on many levels; as Sister cities, between several schools in each city as Sister Schools, and even a Sister Church. The  Church of a Thousand Logs in Palmer also hosts exchanges with the Sister Church in Saroma.