New Orleans, LA – Matsue Mayor Masataka Matsuura and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu exchanged gifts at a World Trade Center luncheon, along with promises of stronger ties.
Landrieu says it's practical economics.
"It's critically important that we continue to work on it, on top of that, it's one of our largest - New Orleans' largest export markets. Rice. Agriculture. Chemicals, etc. And so as we think about job creation, not just cultural exchanges - they're critically important to us."
Masataka, through an interpreter, says he'd like to resume the middle-school exchange program that's been suspended since Hurricane Katrina.
"Because of the distance between the two cities it's been very difficult to have this kind of program in place every year But we would like to educate the little generation, smaller generation about each culture so that they would grow up knowing this culture."
The official visit coincides with the Japanese Festival this weekend at City Park.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming