Press Release

May 1, 2000

Andrew Hudson, Spokesman, Mayor Wellington Webb
(303) 640-2722 office; (303) 640-0780 pager

Tom McClimon, U. S. Conference of Mayors
(202) 293-7330 office

Conference of Mayors President Meets with Japanese Mayors on Economic Development, Strategic Partnerships

Conference Establishes Web Site Link with Japan Association of City Mayors

Denver, May 1 —Today Conference of Mayors President and Denver Mayor Webb hosted the Japan Association of City Mayors, composed of Mayors from 671 cities in Japan, at a symposium in Denver. The day-long meeting is one in a series of international exchanges taking place as part of The United States Conference of Mayors' "Cities 2000" initiative. "Cities 2000" was launched in 1999 by Mayor Webb to promote the role of cities in the international economic and political arena, and to facilitate the exchange of metropolitan best practices and strategies across continents. To date the Cities 2000" initiative has included missions to cities in the African nations of Ghana and Senegal; the cities of Kitakyushu and Tokyo, Japan; Lyon, France (with both French and German Mayors); Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Jerusalem, Israel.

The symposium provided Mayors from both the United States and Japan the opportunity to exchange ideas about metropolitan issues relating to economic development and trade, culture and leadership. The delegation of American Mayors included Long Beach (CA) Mayor Beverly O'Neill, Fremont (CA) Mayor Gus Morrison, and Fort Collins (CO) Mayor Ray Martinez.

During the symposium Mayor Wellington E. Webb asked Japanese Mayors to support his effort to establish direct flights from Denver to Tokyo. Mayor Webb, who has met with officials from Nippon Airlines and Japanese Airlines (JAL) in the past, believes that the time is right to begin direct flights to Japan. "Denver's research shows that the Pacific Rim is a good match for DIA and for Denver's high-tech market place," Mayor Webb said. "We believe that Japanese Airlines would profit from DIA's efficiency as well as the demand for flight service from both American and Japanese business travelers and cargo providers."

At a press briefing at the close of the symposium Mayor Webb also announced that the Conference of Mayors has established a website link with the Japan Association of City Mayors. "This link is only the first step in a long-term project by the Conference of Mayors to use today's Internet technology to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices between Mayors and cities, across oceans and continents," Mayor Webb said.

The Japanese delegation will next visit Washington, DC on Wednesday, May 3, where they will meet with District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams.

The United States Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the United States. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

For more information on the "Cities 2000" initiative go to ###