SANTA CRUZ — Hundreds of people attended the 31st annual Japanese Cultural Fair at Mission Plaza in Santa Cruz Saturday.

From live, traditional music, food booths, information stands and tables featuring Japanese goods and clothing, the event is designed to provide an opportunity for the community to increase its awareness and understanding of the Japanese community in Santa Cruz County as well as Japanese culture, both traditional and contemporary.

Santa Cruz Mayor Cynthia Chase said the event was important for Santa Cruz.

“Events like this could not happen without the partnership and cooperation of the community,” she said. “This is a fantastic event — to celebrate the Japanese culture and to enjoy this window into the culture.”

Satoshi Higo, Vice Consul of the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, said he was honored to be at the event.

“I came to California three years ago and I am proud to be part of this culture,” he said. “There are 104 sister cities between Japan and California and this is a very important connection.”

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