Auckland Reaffirms Japanese Link
Auckland Reaffirms Japanese
Auckland has reaffirmed its 20-year relationship with Kakogawa City, Japan.
Len Brown and the Mayor of Kakogawa City, Mr Shoichi Tarumoto, re-signed the sister city agreement between the two cities at an event held at the Auckland Town Hall Council Chambers last night.
Mayor Tarumoto and a delegation of high-ranking Kakogawa City officials are visiting Auckland in celebration of the 20 years of sister city relationship. It was originally formed by Waitakere City in 1992.
“The connection between our cities remains strong with cultural and student exchanges, most recently with a visit from a group of disabled students taking part in an exciting Kakogawa initiative. In the future, we also hope to explore potential new opportunities including business links,” says Len Brown.
Japan is New Zealand’s fourth largest bilateral trading partner. It is a country where long standing relationships are important to opening the doors of business and the strong relationship with Kakogawa City is part of strengthening Auckland’s overall relationship with Japan.
“Our two countries are uniquely linked by the natural disasters that affected both nations just 17 days apart. We both bear daily reminders of the emotional and physical consequences of these disasters.
“There are 7000 Japanese people in Auckland, two Japanese societies and a business council, and we continue to be committed to supporting our local Japanese communities through events such as Japan Day and Taste of Japan. Japanese people, businesses, culture, food and events contribute to making Auckland the world’s most liveable city, an integral part of our vibrant ethnic diversity.”
This year New Zealand and Japan celebrate the significant milestone of 60 years of diplomatic relations.
Kakogawa City key facts
Kakogawa City is located in Hyōgo Prefecture, approximately 70km east of Osaka on Japan’s main island of Honshu.
Kakogawa City has a population of around 270,000 and covers an area of 138.51 km².
The city lies in the lower reaches of the Kakogawa River and has a warm climate, and is home to many temples and shrines.
The population of Hyōgo Prefecture is 5.6 million.
Hyōgo is part of the Hanshin Industrial Region, one of the largest industrial regions in Japan, involving Osaka and Kobe, the two largest and most productive cities in the industrial area.
The port of Kobe (the capital of Hyōgo Prefecture) is the fourth busiest container port in Japan and the busiest container port in the region, surpassing Osaka.
Auckland and Kakogawa City
The former Waitakere City Council and Kakogawa City signed a Friendship Agreement in 1991 and a full Sister City Agreement in 1992.
One of the regular highlights of the relationship is the annual visit to Auckland by a group of Kakogawa students with disabilities, which is a very unique programme initiated by the former Mayor of Kakogawa City, Mr Seiichi Kinoshita.
In 1996 Waitakere City commissioned three Pou Whenua (totem-poles), carved by Te Kawerau a Maki, as a gift to Kakogawa City. A reciprocal gift of a Japanese Garden was received by Waitakere City in 1997.