Building Global Ties to Columbus, Indiana

Löhne, Germany

In 1994, Löhne, Germany became a sister city of Columbus, Indiana. This relationship was established to foster ties between the two similarly sized cities. Perhaps the major interest was due to a large percentage of the population and surrounding areas having ancestors who emigrated from this same region in Northern Germany.

This secret was unlocked in April 1989 when Hans-Günter Lichte and his wife Edith came to Columbus in search of descendants from her great-grandfather Scheidt. Family members were found buried in the cemetery of St. Paul Lutheran Church at Clifty.

Once the connection was made, groups led by Hans-Günter Lichte of Löhne and Arthur Schwenk of Columbus began to visit back and forth. Also, a student exchange program was developed by Columbus North High School with the high school in Löhne.

The two cities were united in a partnership that bonded cultural and religious similarities.

Miyoshi, Japan

Our Sister City relationship with Miyoshi, Japan began July 5, 1994, with the signing of a cultural partnership agreement by Mayor Bob Stewart and Mayor Michio Tsukamoto. The formal resolution for the twinning was November 30, 1994.

Miyoshi City is located in the central part of Aichi prefecture, situated between Nagoya City and Toyota City.  It shares many similarities with Columbus, such as population size, central location & proximity to other larger metros (i.e., Columbus to Indianapolis as is Miyoshi to Nagoya), and the importance of the automotive manufacturing sector to the local economy.  The headquarters of local firm CAPCO (Miyama Co.) is located in Miyoshi, and the parent company of Rightway Fasteners also has operations in Miyoshi.

Miyoshi’s introduction to the Columbus community began with business introductions of local resident Gerry Seim and Miyama Co., Chairman Dick Yamamoto. Family exchanges formalized into community, student, teacher, and friendship programs at both locations. Additionally, Rotary Clubs played a part in the early years.

Several exchanges have developed over the years by and between the two cities, often including representatives of City government, local schools, and business interests.  For example, each year, Miyoshi schools send a group of middle school students to spend one week living and studying in Columbus, and every other year up to 20 high school students from Columbus have the opportunity to do the same in Miyoshi.  Relations between the two cities have further been fostered by respective community visits led by Miyoshi Mayor Kenji Onoda and Mayor Jim Lienhoop.

Hundreds of cherry trees growing in Columbus and the sidewalk bricks of the downtown Friendship Alley have also been donated to Columbus from our sister city.

Miyoshi Delegation Visit – August 2017