Tacoma is one of seven U.S. cities selected by Sister Cities International to receive the Leading Asia: Renewing the U.S. and Japan Sister Cities Network exchange funding. The money will pay for a delegation from Tacoma to visit their Japanese sister city, Kitakyushu, for 10 days.

The Tacoma-Kitakyushu sister city relationship was formalized in 1959. Annual exchanges have focused on art, education, environment and business. Tacoma will use the Leading Asia funding to focus on creative economies. It will center its new programming on the development of a Japanese garden and focus on professional training for local landscape architects and gardeners to help build their capacity.