History of Our Sister Cities


Southlake Sister Cities has been partnered with Tome (formerly Toyoma), Japan since 1991 with students and adults participating in annual exchange programs. In the spring, students from Tome come to Texas to stay with volunteer host families. With the Southlake Sister Cities volunteers and host families, the students and their delegation leaders visit Carroll schools, local museums, parks, and enjoy local cuisine. In the summer, Southlake students visit Tome and stay with Japanese host families where they experience ancient and modern Japanese culture and hospitality.

The area of present-day Tome was part of ancient Mutsu Province, and has been settled since at least the Jomon period by the Emishi people. During the later portion of the Heian period, the area was ruled by the Northern Fujiwara. During the Sengoku period, the area was contested by various samurai clans before the area came under the control of the Date clan of Sendai Domain during the Edo period, under the Tokugawa shogunate.

The town of Tome was established on June 1, 1889 with the establishment of the municipalities system. The modern city of Tome was established on April 1, 2005, from the merger of the towns of Hasama, Ishikoshi, Minamikata, Nakada, Toyoma, Towa, Toyosato, Tsuyama, and Yoneyama (all from Tome District), and the town of Tsuyama (from Motoyoshi District). The economy of Tome is largely based on agriculture.

For more information about Tome, click here – http://www.city.tome.miyagi.jp/en/general.html


In November 2010 Southlake established a Friendship City relationship with Suzhou Wuzhong District, China. Wuzhong District (simplified Chinese: 吴中区; traditional Chinese: 吳中區; pinyin: Wúzhōng Qū) is one of five urban districts of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. It is located in the southern part of Suzhou and is next to Taihu Lake, has a land area of 770 km², Taihu Lake water area of 1443 km², and a population just over 610,000. The District is developing advanced manufacturing industry, a modern service industry, new and hi-tech industry and modern ecological agriculture.

Through the relationship and coordination of Southlake Sister Cities, Variosystems of Southlake entered into an agreement with Wuzhong Economic Development Zone to construct a new manufacturing facility in Wuzhong. As a result of another Southlake delegation, including the Mayor and CISD Assistant Superintendent, a visit in November 2011 discussed education exchange programs with CISD and Wuzhong Education Bureau signing a memorandum of understanding for education cooperation between Southlake and Wuzhong.