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.
The visitors took part in a twinning ceremony and visited the John Smedley factory and shop, Masson Mill and Chatsworth.
Mayor Suzuki of Toyota City and the Chairman of Toyota City Council, Dai Nakane, presented a lantern to Derbyshire County Council Chair Councillor Joyce Sanders. The lantern commemorates the tenth anniversary of the twinning arrangement.
A cultural delegation of 39 members also visited Derbyshire for a week. The group consisted of traditional Japanese Dancers and Ikebana Masters – Ikebana is the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging. The group delivered workshops and performances at Highfields School, Lady Manners School, Westfield Centre in Derby and County Hall.
The twinning link was established as a result of the Toyota Manufacturing plant opening in Burnaston, which had a positive impact on the local economy. The visit strengthened links between Derbyshire and Toyota City and follows on from student exchanges, the artist exchange project and visits to Derbyshire from Japanese musicians.