Mizuho Machi, Tokyo, Japan, became Morgan Hill’s Sister City on July 3, 2006, through the efforts of local community member Brian Shiroyama and the late former Mayor Dennis Kennedy. Mizuho town is located about one and a half hour by train northwest by Tokyo.
A student exchange program was started in 2008 under the guidance of Murv and Judy Little. In 2015, Cindy van Rhijn and Mary Wakatsuki became the co-chairs until October of 2018. The MMHSEP is currently being chaired by Mary Wakatsuki.
The Mizuho Morgan Hill Student Exchange Program (MMHSEP) is for students in middle school; grades 6th, 7th, and 8th. The student exchange program is about an eighteen month program, with the selected student ambassadors (6-7th graders) hosting a Mizuho student for approximately ten days in mid-August. The following year, in June or July, the same student ambassadors (then 7-8th graders) that hosted would visit Mizuho staying with host families for ten days. In August 2019, Morgan Hill will host visiting Mizuho students and in June 2020, Morgan Hill Student Ambassadors will travel to Mizuho, Japan.
The MMHSEP is a wonderful, once in a lifetime opportunity for middle school students to experience cross cultural learning through an exchange and homestay program.