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Sister and Partner Cities

Last updated date:2018/9/28

Sister and Partner Cities

The Mayors of Frankfurt (left) and Yokohama (right)

About 2 weeks ago, I had the opportunity to welcome the Mayor of Frankfurt to Yokohama. I didn’t personally welcome her of course, but I was part of the organizational process. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First things first: as you are probably aware, most important cities in the world try to establish sister city relationships or partnerships with other cities in order to... well, that really depends on situations. Sometimes it’s a way to promote cultural exchange, other times it’s a way to boost tourism or to gain knowledge and technology in different fields. A friendship between cities is in some ways very similar to a friend or a significant other. They are there to encourage you when you need a push. They will go the extra mile to help you achieve your goals by sharing opinions and lending a hand to carry it through. They will back their words with actions!

Yokohama has of course contracted such cooperative agreements with different cities and ports around the world. Yes, ports too. As a port city, it is also important to find partners with similar needs and goals. And so, I would refer you to the following page for the City of Yokohama where you can find a list of these:

Although I come from the opposite side of the country, I am proud to count Vancouver, Canada as one of Yokohama’s sister cities. What makes this relation extra special is that Vancouver and Yokohama are sister cities AND sister ports at the same time. They are especially involved in the field of student exchange. Actually, from last June they became even more so by the signing of a sister-school agreement between Vancouver’s Point Grey Secondary School and Yokohama’s Minami Middle and High Schools. Both schools wish to give students an early first experience at inter-cultural understanding in the hope of one day reaching world peace.

The year 2011 marked the 45th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Vancouver and Yokohama. Next year will commemorate the 35th anniversary with Constanza, Romania, and the 55th anniversary with San Diego, U.S., the first agreement Yokohama has signed back in 1957. As for Frankfurt and Yokohama, they have agreed to walk hand in hand as partner cities starting on September 27th, 2011.

The main issues this most recent partnership intends to address are global warming, business exchanges and creative cities. The latter may sound vague to some, but the concept is quite simple: encouraging a culture of creativity in urban planning and finding solutions to urban problems.

Finally, I’ll use this space to wish long life to this new partnership and say hello to its promises of a better world!

The flags of both cities: Frankfurt on the left, Yokohama on the right

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