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05 Apr, 2012

30th Anniversary of sister-city partnership with Himeji

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood will attend a ceremony to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Adelaide’s sister-city partnership with Himeji in Japan this weekend.

While he is there, Stephen will also attend a series of meetings on tourism, trade and education aimed at raising Adelaide’s profile as a place to study, visit and do business.

“The event is a significant occasion and I am honoured to be invited by the Mayor of Himeji City, Mr Toshikatsu Iwami, as an official guest,” Stephen said.

“This will be a great way to build our partnership and focus on strengthening Adelaide’s reputation for tourism, education and trade opportunities.”

The trip follows meetings with both the Japanese Ambassador to Australia in May 2011 and the Japanese Consul General in February 2012, both of whom formally invited the Lord Mayor to visit.

Ambassador Mr Shigekazu Sato said “Australia and Japan enjoy a long-standing and robust relationship with excellent economic, political and cultural ties.”

“I sincerely hope that the visit by Adelaide Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood will reinforce not only sister-city relations between Adelaide and Himeji but also our two nations’ relations as comprehensive and strategic partners.  I also hope that Lord Mayor Yarwood enjoys the cherry blossoms in full bloom in Himeji!”

The Lord Mayor’s attendance will also be seen as a sign of support for Japan, which is still recovering from last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Council will reciprocate the offer of celebration to Himeji by inviting Mayor Iwami to Adelaide later this year. Key stakeholders including State Government, Business SA, Education Adelaide, FoodSA, Japan Australia Business Council and the Japan Australia Friendship Association have expressed a keen interest to work with Council to maximise the benefit and impact of the official visit.

Business SA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Vaughan, said that the development of trade opportunities would be of benefit to the local business community.

“We welcome opportunities to develop valuable international business relationships which can assist in making export pathways as smooth as possible for all business throughout the State,” Mr Vaughan said.

The last time a Council representative visited Himeji was in April 2002 when Councillor Bert Taylor attended 20 year celebrations. The last official delegation to visit Adelaide from Himeji consisted of 66 representatives in May 2002 to also celebrate the 20 year anniversary. Council also supported the exchange of students between Adelaide and Himeji and schools continue to independently participate in this exchange.

Denise Von Wald, Chief Executive of Study Adelaide said “we have a strong relationship with the Japanese schools’ sector, particularly our sister schools in the Himeji Prefecture and this year we have already seen a 15% increase in  Japanese students studying in SA public schools.”

Adelaide currently has four sister-cities: Austin, United States of America; Christchurch, New Zealand; George Town, Malaysia; and Himeji, Japan. Over the course of the next 12-18 months, Council will consider opportunities to expand and strengthen its international partnerships, in conjunction with government, community and business stakeholders.

Attachments

For more information

Naomi Marsh
(08) 8203 7446 or 0448 665 434

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