Japan-UK Local Links Conference 2010

March 19, 2010 by

On the 16th of March 2010 the Embassy of Japan in the UK and the Japan Local Government Centre hosted the second Japan-UK Local Links Conference.

The conference provided the opportunity for local authorities in the UK who have ties with a counterpart in Japan, either as official sister-cities or more informally, to come together and talk about their past exchanges, their plans for the future and discuss important issues relating to these activities such as funding in the current economic climate and ways to emphasise the benefits of international links to local authorities looking to cut down on non-essential projects.

There were also Japan-related organisations in attendance, such as the Japan Society and the Japan External Trade Organisation, and these organisations were able to answer many queries during the conference about their work and what they can potentially offer to help support local links in the UK.

Many in attendance were there for the second time but we were also pleased to welcome some new participants as well, including the British Council and representatives of the JET Alumni Association. The conference began with a round of self-introductions during which organisations and local authorities alike were able to talk about their activities and after this the floor was opened to discussion.

The will and motivation to promote local links as something beneficial to a community when funding is short and economic issues take prevalence was one of the topics taken up during the conference. It was suggested that having a dynamic strategy which uses international relations between local authorities to bring an area out of recession could be one way to develop local links in future.

Overall, the meeting was felt by those in attendance to be beneficial and was both a source of new ideas and an evaluation of the past.

Local Authorities in Attendance:
Buckley Town Council
Medway Council
Gateshead Council
Edinburgh City Council
Derbyshire County Council
Peterborough City Council

Other UK Organisations in Attendance:
Local Government Association (LGA)
British Council
University of Oxford
University of Sheffield

Japan-related Organisations in Attendance:
Embassy of Japan in the UK
Japan Local Government Centre
Japan Society
The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO)
Japan Foundation London
Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
JET Alumni Association


Japanese Visitors in Medway Celebrate 75th Anniversary

October 22, 2009 by
The memorial as it is today

The memorial as it is today

His Worship, the Mayor of Medway, Cllr David Royle and representatives from the Japanese Embassy, the Japanese Local Government Centre in London, and a Japanese business based in Gillingham were the guests of Cllr Sue Haydock, Honorary Mayor of Yokosuka and Chairman of the Japan Group of Medway Council’s International Relations Committee at a special dinner to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the unveiling of the William Adams Clock Tower Memorial in The Boulevard, Gillingham on Monday, the 19th of October, 2009.

Mr. Daisuke Otsuka, First Secretary (Political), Embassy of Japan, Mr. Eiji Yamaguchi, Deputy Director of the Japan Local Government Centre, London, and Mr. Hiroshi Kamei, Finance Director of Hochiki Europe (UK) Ltd. joined with past Mayors and Mayoresses of Gillingham, members of the International Relations Committee, and members of the Japan Group, at the Honourable Pilot, Will Adams Way, to mark the occasion, and view of display of historical press cuttings taken at the time. Read the rest of this entry »

A touch of the orient – final touches to friendship garden

October 15, 2009 by

From Gateshead Council News, October/November 2009:

A new friendship garden celebrating the 20-year relationship between Gateshead and its twin city Komatsu in  apan, received some finishing touches last month.

Ten gardeners from Komatsu City worked with council gardeners to create a traditional Japanese garden featuring a stone pond and waterfall, where water is represented by gravel. Read the rest of this entry »

Toyota-Derbyshire: 10th Anniversary of the Twinning Links

October 15, 2009 by

Toyota City Council have released a very detailed and colourful account of all the activities undertaken between Toyota and Derbyshire in 2008, the 10th year of the formal twinning arrangement. It can be downloaded directly from the Toyota City Council website here.

North East Celebrates Japanese Links

June 22, 2009 by

The North East has been celebrating 150 years of trade between the UK and Japan with a ceremony hosted by the Association of North East Councils and the Consulate General of Japan in Edinburgh.Japan24n

Delegates from across the region met on Monday 22 June for the event in Saltwell Park, Gateshead to mark the occasion and further strengthen existing links.

There are over 50 Japanese inward investors in the North East. Significantly, 1986 saw major investments for the region with the opening of the Nissan car plant in Sunderland and the Komatsu Plant in Gateshead. Read the rest of this entry »

2009 Japan-UK Local Links Conference

April 23, 2009 by

10 March 2009
Embassy of Japan in the UK, London

On March 10 2009 representatives from 15 UK local authorities and local government-related organisations, plus a number of representatives from UK-based Japanese organisations convened at the Embassy of Japan in London to discuss issues around local authority links between the UK and Japan. Read the rest of this entry »

Japanese traditions help toast ten years of twinning

November 24, 2008 by

24 November 2008: Traditional Japanese arts such as flower arranging and dance helped celebrate ten years of twinning.

Civic dignitaries from Toyota City visited Derbyshire County Council’s county hall headquarters to mark the twinning anniversary. Read the rest of this entry »

William Adams Festival, Gillingham

September 14, 2008 by

Michio Hemmi, Cllr Susan Haydock, Satoko, Jon, Nayuko Hemmi

William Adams, the ‘Blue-eyed Samurai’, otherwise known in Japan as ‘Miura Anjin’, which translates as ‘The Honourable Pilot’, was born in Gillingham on 24th September 1564.  He was baptised in St. Mary Magdalene Church, Gillingham.  He was shipwrecked in Japan in 1600 and was saved from death by the local warlord who recognised his skills in ship building and navigation.  He went on to show the Japanese how to build Western-style ships, and became, in effect, the father of the Japanese navy and much respected and revered in Japan.  This connection led to the linking of Gillingham with Ito and Yokosuka as sister cities.

Last year Medway Council held its 7th William Adams’ Festival to celebrate the historic links between Gillingham and Japan.  Read the rest of this entry »

Making musical links from east to west

June 6, 2008 by

A Matlock school was filled with the traditional music of Japan to help celebrate the tenth anniversary of twinning between Derbyshire and Toyota city. Read the rest of this entry »

Traditional Japan takes root in Derbyshire

June 4, 2008 by

04 June 2008: Green fingered pupils at Aldercar Community Language College are working hard to chill out.
The pupils are working with specialist designer Glenn Joachim to plan a calming Zen garden in their school grounds. Read the rest of this entry »