PORTLAND — A Japanese delegation from the Aomori Prefecture will make a five-day visit to Portland, Augusta and four other towns next week to exchange ideas on alternative energy, business and aquaculture.

The delegation includes government officials, business leaders and university faculty from a Japanese energy think-tank.

The visit, which stretches from Sept. 6-10, will include stops at the Gulf of Maine Reserach Center in Portland, as well as presentations at the Maine International Trade Center, the Univeristy of Maine’s Offshore Wind Laboratory, the Maine Aquaculture Association and the Maine Shellfish Growers.

The visit was organized by the Maine-Aomori Sister State Advisory Council (MASSAC).

“MASSAC’s mission is to identify and assess existing activities and exchanges with Aomori and devise strategies to develop cultural, educational, and commercial opportunities between the sister states,” said Stephen MacDougall, MASSAC’s chairperson, in a press release. “This visit, with its very timely focus on energy and the fishery and food products industries will strengthen and expand the Maine-Aomori partnership and quite possibly reveal the potential for joint research and development programs.”

Maine’s relationship with the Aomori Prefecture traces its origins to 1889. That year, the 1,500-ton Cheseborough ship, sailing from Bath, wrecked off the coast of Aomori. Local citizens from the village of Shariki rescued four survivors and buried those who died, including Peter Erickson, the captain.

Amidst the Cheseborough wreckage that drifted ashore, the people of Shariki discovered Maine pears, and enjoyed them so much, they planted pear trees of their own. Every year, the people of Shariki hold a service for the sailors who lost their lives on that night in 1889 and leave pears on the graves of the sailors who died.