Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

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Capital: Yokohama 

Population: 9 million+ (as of 2015) 

Governed by: Yuji Kuroiwa  

Sister State formed in: 1980

The Sister State relationship started because of similarities between the two states; both Kanagawa and Maryland have mountains, beaches, a large bay, and a busy port and are located next to their respective nation’s capital.  Through this Sister State relationship, Kanagawa and Maryland have maintained close ties in various areas, such as business and education.  In addition to the Sister State relationship, Kawasaki City in Kanagawa and Baltimore City in Maryland are sister cities. 


The relationship between Kanagawa and Maryland encourages the exchange and cooperation in a wide range of areas. These include: education, trade and business opportunities, cultural exchanges, and improvements to healthcare availability of each region.


Maryland biotechnology company Elixirgen Scientific is expanding their business in Japan. Based in the Science & Technology Park at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Elixirgen has been focused on stem cell technology. Elixirgen established their Japanese branch in Kawasaki, Kanagawa in 2019 and will establish their Research & Development center in Shonan iPark, Kanagawa in 2021.

Baltimore and Kawasaki became Sister Cities in 1979, and have been committed to mutually beneficial developments such as this one since inception.

Learn more about Elixirgen’s expansion and the Baltimore/Kawasaki relationship!


Fall 2021 – Spring 2023 – Video Exchange Project

MD-Kanagawa Sister State Committee organizes a video exchange program in which students who are studying Japanese in Maryland introduce the state in Japanese for people in Kanagawa while students who are studying English in Kanagawa introduce the prefecture in English for people in Maryland. Each paired school meets online to share experiences of filming and other information. This is a series of nine paired school exchanges.

Project #1:
From Kanagawa – Introducing Yokohama in English by Seiko Gakuin Junior/Senior High school students: Watch HERE
From Maryland – Introducing Annapolis in Japanese by UMBC students: Watch HERE
Project #2:
From Kanagawa – Introducing Yokohama in English by Yokohama Futaba High School: Watch HERE

From Maryland – Introducing Patapsco State Park: Watch HERE
Project #3:
From Kanagawa – Introducing Kamakura in English by Kumon Kokusai Gakuen Junior-Senior High School students: Watch HERE
From Maryland – Introducing Silver Spring in Japanese by Paint Branch High School students: Watch HERE
Project #4:
From Kanagawa – Introducing Yokosuka in English by Toin Gakuen Senior High School students: Watch HERE
From Maryland – Introducing Life at the Naval Academy in Japanese by United States Naval Academy students: Watch HERE
Project #5:
From Kanagawa – Introducing Nature in Kanagawa and SDGs in English by Nihon University Senior High School students: Watch HERE
From Maryland – Introducing Baltimore in Japanese by Johns Hopkins students: Watch HERE

Fall 2019 – Two UMBC students completed internships to assist in English education at two private high schools in Kanagawa for three months.

Summer 2019 – Total of 30 students from private high schools in Kanagawa took two-week intensive English courses at the English Language Institute, UMBC. 

Summer 2019 – Total of 5 English teachers from private high schools in Kanagawa completed TESOL program at UMBC.

Summer 2018 –10 undergraduate students, five each from University of Maryland College Park and University of Maryland Baltimore County, were invited to a two-week internship by the Kanagawa Private Association of Junior/Senior High Schools to commemorate the 70th anniversary of founding of the association.

On June 6, 2018, Deputy Secretary of State Luis Borunda attended the Japanese Coast Guard reception on the Japan Coast Guard training vessel “KOJIMA” in Baltimore. The Deputy Secretary provided remarks and highlighted the longstanding Maryland-Kanagawa Sister State and Baltimore-Kawasaki Sister City relations.


Interested in Japanese traditional or pop-culture? Learn more and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Maryland and Kanagawa Sister State relationship at the Japan Day Fall Festival!

Presented by the Maryland and Kanagawa Sister State Committee along with UMBC, Misako Ballet, Matcha Time Cafe, and Baltimore and Kawasaki Sister City, Japan Day will be a celebration of Japanese performances and traditions. We welcome you to this cultural exploration event! Activities include:


  • Ryukyu taiko drum and dance performance
  • Kendo and Naginata demonstration
  • Ballet performance
  • Karate demonstration
  • Japanese choir


  • Origami
  • Calligraphy
  • Yukata picture taken
  • Flower arrangement
  • Tea ceremony
  • Bazaar
  • Japanese snacks and goods (to purchase)
  • Cosplay contest
  • Japanese information table

Our Japan Day/Fall Festival is free of charge, with prior registration appreciated. Register here!

  • Exchange program between MD Kendo Club and possibly Kanagawa Police Department Kendo team or Kanagawa Kendo teams 
  • Planting a cherry tree on UMBC campus sponsored by the non-profit organization, Blossom of Hope, Columbia
  • Online debate between private high schools in Kanagawa and high schools in MD


Tomoko Hoogenboom, Chair
Maryland Kanagawa Sister State Program Executive Committee
Email: tmkhgnbm@umbc.edu

Hitoshi Suzuki, Representative
Kanagawa Prefecture North America Office
Tel: 212-997-0437
Fax: 212-997-0464
Email: Hitoshi_Suzuki@jetro.go.jp

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