The New Paltz International Exchange Association traces it roots to 1998 when a sister city relationship between New Paltz, NY and Osa, Japan was established. Osa is a small town on the large Japanese island of Honshu, and is located west of Osaka. It was a good match for a sister city for New Paltz because it was similar in population and geography, and we shared many common concerns.

As the relationship between the two towns grew, the NPIEA was created to enable the “sister city committee” of New Paltz to act as an official entity.

From a simple start of Mayor Tom Nyquist and his wife Corinne visiting Osa, and the mayor of Osa, Kazumi Umeda, visiting New Paltz, the relationship grew to include yearly visits by adult delegations, alternating between the two towns each year, a yearly visit of students from Osa Junior High to New Paltz Middle School and New Paltz Middle School students visiting Osa. After exchanges between SUNY New Paltz and Niimi College, the focus has shifted to an annual visit from Niimi College to SUNY Ulster which includes touring businesses and areas of interest in the Village, Town, and surrounding area.  SUNY Ulster is working on plans to visit Niimi College.

In February 2005 Mayor Jason West led a delegation to Osa for the 50th Anniversary of Osa as a town. This was the last official visit between Osa and New Paltz. In April 2005 the towns of Osa, Shingo, Tetta, Tesei, and Niimi were merged together into one political entity called Niimi City. (For perspective, this can best be compared to merging the Village of New Paltz, the Town of New Paltz, Gardiner, and Highland with the City of Poughkeepsie and calling it Poughkeepsie City.) We anticipate a bright future for the relationship between New Paltz and Niimi as we continue our international friendship.

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