About 200 people from all walks of life in Shiga prefecture, Japan visited Changsha for a four-day celebration of the 35th anniversary of the ties between Hunan province and Shiga prefecture on Nov 12.
Hunan province and Japan's Shiga prefecture have formally cooperated as international friendly cities since March 25, 1983. The 35-year cooperation began from a project on water control in Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture and Dongting Lake in Hunan province, and gradually extended to economy and trade, environmental protection, culture, education, tourism, sports and more.
Great results have been achieved in the 35 years, such as exchange trips for more than 200 students, the launch of a series of water resource protection and scientific and technological cooperation projects, and Heiwado of Shiga prefecture becoming the first foreign trade enterprise in Hunan province.
In addition, the Sino-Japanese Green Exchange Fund rendered more than 40 million yen ($351,095) in free aid for afforestation of more than 400 hectares in Hunan province. The two sides conduct youth football, music and other friendly matches on an irregular basis and hold anniversary celebrations every five years.
Taizo Mikazuki, governor of Shiga prefecture, said that the two sides have developed a deep friendship over the 35 years and should promote the communication mode between Shiga and Hunan to the rest of the world.
Ryuji Kawashima, chairperson of the Shiga prefecture assembly, also hopes to further strengthen the ties between the two places and to continue the friendly cooperation for 50 or even 100 years.
The 35th anniversary also includes activities such as an art exhibition and dialogues on ecological sustainable development of Dongting Lake and Biwa Lake.