Sister City Information
- Location: West Coast of Korean Peninsula
- Area: 613 miles²
- Population: 2.6 million
- Mayor: Ahn, Sang-soo, sworn in July 2002
- Major Industries: International trade, manufacturing, freight and transportation hub
- Photo Gallery
With Pacific Rim interests in mind, Incheon, Korea and Anchorage signed a joint Sister Cities agreement in 1986. Incheon is located on the beautiful west coast of the Korean peninsula about 20 miles west of Seoul, Korea’s capital city. Incheon is a historic town (with origins dating back to the 15th century) featuring many cultural relics. Incheon’s location on the peninsula made it an excellent site for safe harbor when the Incheon port was originally opened in 1883. Incheon is the third largest city in Korea, with 2.6 million residents.
While agriculture still thrives in the outskirts of Incheon, in recent years the city has made dramatic progress to become a diverse industrial center and a major international trade port in Asia. The recently completed Incheon International Airport is Korea’s primary international airport, and has made Incheon a gateway to northeast Asia, connecting within a 3.5-hour flight to 32 percent of the world. The airport is capable of handling 170,000 flights, 27 million passengers, and 1.7 million tons of freight annually. Incheon International Airport was selected as the world’s best airport in 2006 and 2007 by numerous travel publications.
Incheon is also home to the Munhak Worldcup Stadium, one of ten venues constructed in Korea for the 2002 World Cup soccer tournament, which was jointly hosted with Japan. Munhak Stadium can seat over 50,000 spectators and is currently home to Incheon United Football Club of the professional K-League.
Incheon is rapidly developing a highly technological district of the city in the Incheon Free Economic Zone. It provides cutting-edge technology and western-style living conditions to encourage business development.
Anchorage enjoys a strong relationship with Incheon. The Anchorage Sister Cities Commission and Mayor Begich hosted Mayor Ahn and his delegation in the summer of 2004. Mayor Ahn presented the people of Anchorage with the “Statue of Hope,” a 12-foot tall stainless steel statue which currently greets visitors to Anchorage’s international airport terminal.
In September 2005, Mayor Begich made a reciprocal visit to Incheon, presenting the people of Incheon with a 2,600-pound piece of jade donated by NANA, the Kotzebue-based regional Native corporation. The three-foot-long, two-foot-thick jade was transported to Korea courtesy of Northern Air Cargo and Korean Airlines and represents the strong ties between the two cities.
In October 2007, Anchorage reaffirmed its commitment to increased international trade and cultural exchanges with Incheon, Korea during a Sister Cities Summit. Anchorage Economic Development Corporation President Bill Popp represented Mayor Begich, along with three members of Anchorage’s Sister City Commission, Suzette Mashburn, Dr. Won Pal Chung, and Yohyon Pharr.