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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Obama to namesake town: Thanks for support

Staff writer

From Obama to Obama, thank you.

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, has sent the mayor of Obama, Fukui Prefecture, a letter of gratitude for the city's show of support, city officials said Tuesday.

"We share more than a common name; we share a common planet and common responsibilities," the Feb. 21 letter addressed to Mayor Toshio Murakami says. "I am touched by your friendly gesture, and I wish you all the best."

The letter closes with the candidate's signature.

The city supports the senator because his name, although not Japanese, is coincidentally the same as the city's, officials say. In January 2007, the mayor sent Obama a letter and a local specialty — lacquered chopsticks. Last month, the city sent out another letter and a lacquered "daruma" doll with a wish for Obama's decisive victory in the nomination.

Obama is a port town with a 1,300-year history. It was once a center of trade between ancient Nara and China and the Korean Peninsula.

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The Japan Times

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