In June 2018, SOM’s Chicago office hosted an official delegation visiting from Osaka, Japan. The group was led by the Mayor of Osaka and the President of the Osaka City Council. The visit to SOM was part of the delegation’s tour of Chicago, organized to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the partnership between Osaka and Chicago that was formed through Sister Cities International in 1973. Sister Cities International, a nonprofit that "promotes peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation," is active in 140 countries.
More than 20 representatives from the City of Osaka, the City of Chicago, and Chicago Sister Cities International were in attendance. The visit celebrated the similarities between the two cities, which include the role water plays for each and their populations (2.6 million in Osaka, and 2.7 million in Chicago). Representatives from SOM included William Baker, Brian Lee, Xuan Fu, Eric Keune, and others. They guided visitors on a tour of the office and presented a selection of projects to highlight recent work in architecture and urban planning.