12 August 2015
An enthusiastic group of students and teachers from Hamilton’s sister city of Saitama, Japan, were welcomed to the city by Mayor Julie Hardaker at the Civic Building this morning.
The students’ visit is a continuation of long-standing educational exchanges between Hamilton and Saitama City, with last year marking 30 years since the signing of the sister city relationship.
The links were further strengthened in 2012, when a 120-year-old Children’s Shrine, used in parades, was gifted to Hamilton by local resident and former Saitama resident Takashi Shinohara.
Mayor Hardaker said the Saitama students’ visit highlighted the combination of a youthful community and access to world class educational facilities which Hamilton enjoys.
Like Hamilton, Saitama has close and vital links with waterways, and its total river basin area is the largest in Japan. The region’s economy developed through extensive use of its river systems for transportation.
“It is a pleasure to welcome and host these young students from Saitama. The High School’s exchange programme is a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about New Zealand and our culture and it has been a great success since it started many years ago. ” Mayor Julie Hardaker said.
“I hope they will see many of the wonderful assets Hamilton, our region and our country has to offer during their stay.”
Hamilton’s sister cities are Saitama City, ( Japan), Wuxi City, (China), and City of Sacramento, (USA).
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