Sunday, May 19, 2024

Tauranga sister cities visit cements Hitachi link

A sister cities visit to Hitachi, Japan, by a small delegation from Tauranga has helped cement strong relationships, particularly in the area of arts, culture and education exchanges, Tauranga City Council said today.

Hitachi Mayor, Haruki Ogawa, says his city is excited to explore new education and cultural exchange programmes, as well as exploring potential sporting connections.

“It was wonderful to meet with Commission Chair Anne Tolley and the delegation from Tauranga. We are excited about further developing our education and cultural exchange programmes as well as exploring potential sporting connections” he says.

Meanwhile, Tauranga City Council Commission Chair, Anne Tolley says the five Tauranga delegates were “blown away” by their reception in Hitachi. Representatives from Tauranga City Council, Creative Bay of Plenty, Priority One and Education made up the delegation. 

“Hundreds of Council staff came out of their offices to welcome us on arrival, setting the tone for the visit and showing us just how much this relationship means to the people of Hitachi,” she said.

“The council-to-council connection is the backbone that underpins and enables our cultural and education exchanges. In a world where geopolitical tensions are rising around the world, it’s important that we don’t take our international friendships for granted and keep building the mutual understandings between people, cities and countries.”

The delegation met with a vast range of representatives from different sectors in Hitachi, including Hitachi City Council, Hitachi Education Board, Hitachi Chamber of Commerce, local businesses and cultural groups. 

Key areas of focus for future relationships between the sister cities are:  

  • Expanding the existing exchange programmes to provide more opportunities for local artists, as well as growing youth exchanges;
  • Strengthening the homestay and Assistant Language Teacher Programmes;
  • Exploring more virtual communication between schools and the possibility of establishing sporting exchange programmes;
  • Deepening economic ties between businesses in the two cities.

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