WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – One of the most devastated areas of Japan will get rebuilding help from the State of Delaware.  The “First State” is reaching out to its Japanese sister state.

This relationship goes back a couple of decades,” notes Delaware governor Jack Markell, who says his predecessor, Mike Castle, started the sister-state relationship with Miyagi Prefecture.

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Since then, Markell says, there have been numerous exchanges between students and businesses.

“In fact, we had people from Miyagi here just last month, meeting with restaurateurs and hotel folks from across the state of Delaware, talking about their sake and miso from Japan,” says Markell.

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Miyagi is near the epicenter of the earthquake and was virtually washed away by the tsunami.

“(The people of Miyagi) have become friends and important partners of Delaware, and we thought it was really important that the people of our state let them know that we’re thinking of them at this most difficult time,” the governor adds.

Donations can be made on the web at delaware.gov/helpmiyagi.

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Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060.