I was honoured to represent the City of Sydney in a recent delegation to Nagoya as part of our sister city arrangement. This relationship with local government in Nagoya was established in 1980 and has grown a cultural understanding between the two cities and has fostered an exchange of ideas on a range of important issues including sustainability, biodiversity and resource management.
Sydney has six sister city relationship, with San Francisco, Florence, Wellington, Guangzhou and Portsmouth, but the relationship with Nagoya is the most active. It is supported by the work of the Sydney-Nagoya Sister City Committee which meets regularly in Sydney Town Hall.
As part of the tour I gave the opening address at the launch of the 35 year celebrations of this relationship between Sydney and Nagoya. The sister city relationship is widely promoted in Nagoya. The City of Sydney delegation participated in the annual Nagoya Festival Parade where I passed small koalas to children in the passing crowd. Later I participated in a tree planting ceremony where 3 bottlebrushes were donated to the Botanical Gardens in Nagoya.
A delegation from Nagoya, including the Mayor of Nagoya, is currently in Sydney. The City has hosted a ceremony and a dinner to mark the 35th Anniversary and to further strengthen this relationship and its ongoing cultural exchange.