Delhi, Japan's Fukuoka extend ‘twinning accord’ till 2026
CM Arvind Kejriwal on Monday met a delegation from Fukuoka prefecture at the Delhi Secretariat to commemorate the 15-year anniversary of the agreement.
Delhi and Japan’s Fukuoka prefecture have extended their “twinning agreement” by three years, which chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said will help in increased cooperation to further harness the potential in the spheres of environment, health, education and other areas by way of more mutual exchanges.
The chief minister on Monday met a delegation from Fukuoka prefecture at the Delhi Secretariat to commemorate the 15-year anniversary of the agreement, whereby it was extended until March 31, 2026, the Delhi government said. Fukuoka prefecture’s 35-member delegation was led by their vice-governor Akie Omagari.
The twinning agreement was first signed on March 5, 2007.
A government official aware of the development said that the collaboration has focused on areas of environment, culture, tourism, heritage and education. “Over the past 15 years, both cities have engaged in various activities in art and cultural exchanges, environmental technology and student exchange programs. The agreement also aims to explore possibilities in the areas of environment-related issues,” the government said.
A sister city or a twin town relationship is a form of legal or social agreement between two geographically and politically distinct localities for the purpose of promoting cultural and commercial activities.
Kejriwal said, “Our friendship isn’t a mere agreement between two cities. The influence of Indian culture, particularly through Buddhism, has left an indelible mark on Japanese society, fostering a sense of closeness among the Japanese people toward India in general and the people of Delhi in particular. Our friendship agreement of the last 15 years has brought both cities closer by way of mutual cooperation and exchanges and benefits.”
“Japanese language is now taught in many Delhi government schools. Apart from online exchange and interactions undergoing between students of two schools in each city,” he added.
Omagari said: “My Sincere thanks for the initiatives that have happened after the friendship agreement that’s been extended between the Fukuoka Prefectural Government and the Government of Delhi, since March 2007. In 2018, in the MoU, culture, tourism, and cultural heritage prevention had also been added. There have been expert visits from both sides and we have been sharing knowledge. There will be a visit of Delhi government Art and Culture delegates in December and we’re looking forward to it. 24 experts have also visited from Fukuoka and they have also gone through a training program --International Environment Expert Training Program. If we can do something together, that’ll be very much delightful for us,” she added.
The two sides also focused the challenge that the pollution crisis poses in Delhi, with Omagari stating that 50 years ago, Fukuoka also faced such issues. “With all the knowledge we have, I’m looking forward to cooperate on the issue. The education board of both the governments have also entered into a cooperation. More and more students are coming from the Delhi government’s schools to Fukuoka Prefectural Government schools. We’re requesting CM Arvind Kejriwal to visit Fukuoka and our Governor Seitaro Hattori is looking forward to meeting you,” the vice-chairperson added.