In the fall of 2003, the Evergreen Chapter of ASPA entered into an international Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hyogo Administrative Policy Studies Association (HAPSA). This agreement was arranged, in part, to honor a long history of Washington State and the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan as sister-states.
At the national level, ASPA has increasingly promoted international activities. The MOU with HAPSA is unique, however, as it was the first to be taken on by a chapter of ASPA, as opposed to a university, which is more common. In 2008 HAPSA came under the umbrella of the Hyogo Earthquake Memorial 21st Century Research Institute, then led by Dr. Ryosuke Aota. A corps of HAPSA volunteers supports HAPSA’s collaboration with the ASPA Evergreen Chapter.
In 2013 our MOU was renewed following a joint seminar in Olympia, which occurred as part of a grand 50th sister-state anniversary of Hyogo and Washington state. Our collaboration has flourished with person-to-person exchanges in both countries, focusing on public policy, research, and issues that are of mutual interest to the sister-states.
In the Summer of 2018, the MOU was again recognized during the 55th sister-state anniversary of Hyogo and Washington state. Members of the official delegation and Evergreen ASPA members met at the Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray to discuss disaster response and preparedness issues. Following the meeting, ASPA members attended the official sister-state celebrations with Governor Toshizo Ido of Hyogo Prefecture and Governor Jay Inslee.