Mr. Shozo Sato, a longtime board member of the Hanamaki International Exchange Association and strong supporter of the Hot Springs-Hanamaki Sister City Program, passed away on January 3, 2015 in Hanamaki, Japan.
Mr. Sato visited Hot Springs in 1994 as a member of the first citizen delegation from Hanamaki to Hot Springs, in advance of the January 1995 formal signing ceremony between the two cities. Mr. Sato served from that time until 2011 as a board member of the Hanamaki International Exchange Association. He received an Honorary Citizen commendation from former Hot Springs Mayor Melinda Baran. He hosted many Hot Springs visitors through the years. His service also extended to the Hanamaki City Board of Education, demonstrating his commitment to the future success of area youth.
“The City of Hot Springs will remember Mr. Sato with respect and appreciation for the profound impact he has had on the Sister City Program,” said Hot Springs Mayor Ruth Carney. “His legacy continues into the future as the program continues to grow. This is important and meaningful work, as we build peace, tolerance, understanding and friendship that bind us together across the globe. While we mourn Mr. Sato’s passing, we also honor his great vision and dedication that have made the world a better place.”