TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Hualien City Mayor Wei Chia-hsien (魏嘉賢) signed an agreement on Tuesday (Oct. 8) with the mayor of Japan’s Takachiho Town to upgrade the two cities’ relationship from friendship to sister cities, according to a CNA report.
Hualien and Takachiho became friendship cities in 2005. Located in the northwest of Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture, Takachiho is a popular tourist destination.
Takachiho’s biggest tourist attractions are Takachiho Gorge and the Amanoiwato-jinja Shinto shrine, Hualien City Office said in a statement on its website. Takachiho Gorge is a reddish, V-shaped canyon; while the shrine is dedicated to Amaterasu, the Japanese emperor’s ancestor, or female sun god.
With the signing of the pact, Hualien becomes Takachiho's first overseas sister city. Takachiho is Hualien City’s sixth overseas sister city and the first in 34 years.
Hualien City has established sister city relationships with Ulsan in South Korea, Yonaguni Town in Okinawa (1982), Albuquerque City in the U.S.’ New Mexico (1983), also the U.S.’ Bellevue City in Washington State (1984), and Oudtshoorn in South Africa’s Western Cape Province (1985).
Wei said the two cities will make exchanges and cooperate in areas such as tourism, industry, education, and culture.