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Local Government International Exchange

Sister City Information

Finding a sister city

CLAIR supports local governments that are trying to form sister city relationships. Please contact us for more information.

Japanese local governments looking for sister city relationships overseas

Here you can find out what local governments in Japan are looking for a sister city relationship. Click on the town name or scroll down to see an overview of their region.

Local governmentPrefectureDesired Country or Region
Ichihara City Chiba New Zealand, etc.
Shintoku Town Hokkaido U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia
Yamanouchi Town Nagano Australia
Komaki City Aichi Oceania, North America, Europe
Katsuura City Chiba Australia

Ichihara City (Chiba Prefecture)

Population 276,627 (as of Feb 1, 2019) Area 368.17 square kilometer
(about 1207906.82 ft)
Outline of Local Government

Ichihara is within 50 km (about 164041.994 ft) of central Tokyo and is located in an excellent location about an hour away from Narita and Haneda Airports.
Ichihara is blessed with abundant nature and a mild climate and that's why people from ancient times decided to live here. Shell mounds and remains from the Jomon era (12,000 B.C. - the fourth century B.C.) and Yayoi era (the tenth century B.C. - the third century) have been excavated in various places throughout the city.
In 1957 when the land along the coastal areas started to be reclaimed, major petrochemical companies expanded and towns were turned into developed secondary and tertiary industrial areas.

Desired Country/Region of Exchange

New Zealand, etc.

Desired Characteristics of Exchange Partner

Preferably have something in common in the field of commerce and industry, agriculture, tourism, history, culture, or sports, etc. with Ichihara City.

Other PR Information 【Commerce and Industry】
The city ranked third in Japan for the amount of shipped manufactured goods, and is the core of the Keiyo industrial belt that is one of the largest petrochemical complexes in Japan.
To differentiate us from other rice-growing districts, we are undertaking the growing of our own brand rice "Yorou no Megumi". Our rice is unique because we are greatly reducing pesticide use and instead are investing in organic farming.
Ichihara City is blessed with numerous tourist resources to be proud of: its rich nature of Yorou canyon, numerous historical sites scattered throughout the city. We have also utilized the Satoyama woodland in the southern region to hold the art festival "Ichihara Art × Mix" twice in the past with the hope of promoting the region with modern art.
【History and Culture】
There are 2,500 remains and 40 shell mounds from the Jomon era (1,2000 B.C. - the fourth century B.C.) and Yayoi era (the tenth century B.C. - the third century). In the late 7th century, the provincial government of Kazusa was established and during Nara era (710 - 794) Kazusa Kokubunji (Temple) and Kazusa Kokubunniji (Convent) (two of the biggest Buddhist structures in Japan) were built.
Also, a request was filed for the approval of the geomagnetic reversal formation in the Tabuchi area as a GSSP (Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point) and the name "Chibanian," which contains the name of a Japanese prefecture, will be given as an official name for a geological era for the very first time.
We are the hometown of JEF United Ichihara Chiba (J-league football team) and Chiba Lotte Marines (Pacific League baseball team). We have an agreement of "Friendship-city program on regional development and contribution through sports" with both teams.
Furthermore, we are the domestic training base of the Japanese Super Rugby team, HITO-Communications SUNWOLVES.
Ichihara City has many excellent sports facilities such as the Ichihara Spo Rec Park, ZA Ori Pri Stadium, Yorogawa Rinkai Stadiums, and the ZA martial arts gym. The Ichihara Spo Rec Park in particular has received the highest international evaluation for its three natural lawn grounds and one artificial lawn ground.
【Local Cuisine】
Boso Futomaki Zushi is made for ceremonial occasions, which has been a tradition that has been passed down generations. By using various ingredients, all kinds of designs are created. It represents not only Ichihara but Chiba Prefecture as well.
Date Modified Mar 2019

Shintoku Town (Hokkaido Prefecture)

Population 6,283 Area 1,063.83 km2
Outline of Local Government Shintoku is located in the center of Hokkaido, covering a vast area of 30.76km by 62.29km, with a total area of 1,063.83㎢.

Shintoku expanded as a railroad town and is now one of the few express train stops on the way to Sapporo City, taking only two hours.
The scenery dramatically changes with each season throughout the year. You can enjoy Onsen (hot spring), horse-back riding, canoeing, rafting, skiing, and many other outdoor activities. It is also the first town in Japan to have a Club-Med resort village.
Our industries include: agriculture, livestock, forestry and above all, buckwheat production which has received the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Prize. This prize shows that Shintoku's buckwheat is certified as the best in Japan.

Desired Country/Region of Exchange

English-speaking countries such as, U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, etc.

Desired Characteristics of Exchange Partner

A similar-sized community where students can engage in cultural exchange.

Date Modified May 2018

Yamanouchi Town (Nagano Prefecture)

Population 14,000 Area 26,000ha
of which 24,000ha is covered by forests
Outline of Local Government Located in the northeast part of Nagano Prefecture, Yamanouchi Town is a small town known for a number of attractions which include the historical Yudanaka Shibu onsen (hot spring) village and the famous Jigokudani onsen, where snow monkeys can be seen enjoying a hot bath. The Shiga Highlands, where the 1998 Winter Olympics was held, is a national park as well as a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Yamanouchi Town has also acquired a reputation for the high quality of its locally produced fruits such as apples and grapes.
Desired Country/Region of Exchange Australia
While Yamanouchi Town attracts visitors worldwide, it has an overwhelming number of tourists from Australia visiting the Snow Monkey Park.
Desired Characteristics of Exchange Partner Yamanouchi Town is looking to engage in international exchange activities with a municipality of similar size, based on the themes of "Koalas and Snow Monkeys" and/or "Skiing".
Date Modified June 2013

Komaki City (Aichi Prefecture)

Population 149,540 Area 62.81 km2
Outline of Local Government
Komaki City was established in 1955. Since then, it has been developed into a leading industrial inland city by taking advantage of its outstanding geographic features as a traffic junction for access to Chubu Area via Chubu Centrair International Airport (Nagoya) and the Tomei, Meishin, and Chuo Expressways.
Komaki City is home to companies with the most advanced technologies we are proud of, such as MRJ and companies related to the H-II A Rocket. Komaki City is blessed with wonderful culture and nature including Mt. Komaki and many other historical assets.
Desired Country/Region of Exchange Oceania, North America, Europe
Desired Characteristics of Exchange Partner Possibility for student exchange
Other PR Information

・ Mt. Komaki
The grounds of Mt. Komaki is home to Komakiyama Castle built by Nobunaga Oda and was later renovated by Ieyasu Tokugawa, who made it his base for the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute, in which Ieyasu fought with Hideyoshi Hashiba. For this reason, Mt. Komaki is known as 'the place remembered for three heroes.' Near the mountain peak, excavation continues to uncover mysteries still unknown. In 1563, Oda built his fortress, Komakiyama Castle (currently used as a history museum).

・Nagoya Cochin
The Kaifu brothers (former classmen of the Owari Domain) developed Nagoya Cochin at Ikenouchi District in Komaki.

A unique temple for breasts. The thousand-armed Goddess in the temple is said to bring abundant breast milk.
・Tagata Shrine
The harvest festival is held every year on March 15th to pray for a plentiful harvest, the development of all things, and the prosperity of descendants.
  【Honen Matsuri Festival】
・Mitsubishi Regional (MRJ)
The MRJ, developed by Mitsubishi, is the first private passenger jet aircraft in Japan and seats 70~90 people. The world's most advanced aerodynamic design and noise analysis technologies are applied and the state-of-the-art engine is adopted for a significant reduction in fuel, noise and exhaust emissions. The first MRJ was launched in November 2015 from Nagoya Airport.

・H-II A Rocket
The major large-sized H-II A Rocket is assembled with over 1 million parts and launches are ensured. The rocket is introduced to overseas clients with its greatest merit of high reliability. The Nagoya Guidance & Propulsion system works of Mitsubishi Heavy industries, which is located in the city, manufactures liquid rocket engines, the main component of the rocket.
・Menard Art Museum
The museum managed by Nippon Menard Cosmetic Co., Ltd. displays 1,400 pieces of art. Most were collected by the founder and his wife whose hometown is Komaki.

・Certified NPO Corporation Chubu Philharmonic Orchestra
Since being established in 2000, Komaki City Symphony Orchestra has expanded its activity to promote music culture throughout the Chubu area. Today, the orchestra holds regular performances in Nagoya, Inuyama, and Matsuzaka, and is loved by the local people.

・Komakiyama Takigi Noh
Audiences are invited into the profound world restored in the remains of Nobunaga's home m
ystically lighted by bonfire.

― ― ― Komaki Specialities ― ― ―
Komaki figs are high in quality and delicious--a local treat with a strong reputation. Most of the figs grown in the city are a variety called Masui dauphine, which are popular for their juicy and moist flesh.
・Shinooka Peach
The red earth on sunny slopes produces large and sweet peaches, known nationwide for their delicious flavor.
・Ebi-imo (Shrimp-shaped taro potatoes)
The taro gets its name from the unique curves shape and black vertical stripes that gives it the appearance of shrimp. Production is limited to certain locations because this variety only grows in rich and permeable soil called muck.
Grape production began with the cultivation of the eastern area hillocks. Harvesting is from August to the end of September, during which many vineyards are open to the public for direct sales.

Date Modified April 2017

Katsuura City (Chiba Prefecture)

Population 18,275 Area 93.96 km2
Outline of Local Government Katsuura City is located in the central area of Chiba Prefecture and is 90 minutes by train or 60 minutes by car from central Tokyo. As Katsuura faces the Pacific Ocean the summer temperature is cool (approximately under 30℃) and winter temperatures are warm. Many tourists visit our town seeking beautiful scenery and fresh seafood throughout the seasons. Katsuura's local food "Tantan-men" noodles, which is a very spicy dish, received first place at the "B-1 Grand Prix" (local food festival) gathering many votes for the taste and love for the city.

Martial arts is also popular because "Nippon Budokan Center," the first martial arts seminar house, was built in Katsuura in 1971. The "International Budo University" (est. 1984) also located in Katsuura has fostered many elite Budo athletes and today, many foreign athletes come to study and train at the university. Some overseas Judo teams also stayed and used the university as training grounds for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

In marine sports, surfing and standup paddleboarding is popular and a surfing world tournament was held on Hebara Beach in 2004 and 2005. In 2020, Surfing's first Olympic games will be held on Tsurigasaki Beach, only 24 km away from Katsuura City. Beautiful nature, warm climate, fresh seafood and exciting sports are highlights in our town.
Website(s) City homepage:
Desired Country/Region of Exchange Australia (eastern coast)
-Cities nearby Sydney and Brisbane are preferable
Desired Characteristics of Exchange Partner -Similarity of natural environment, industry and culture
-Prosperous for sightseeing (sea and sport)
Other PR Information

"Moriya Seashore"
Of the 4 resorts in Katsuura, Moriya is the largest beach resort and has lifesavers patrolling all summer.

"Hebara Beach"
WCT surfing tournament was held here. There is a large parking lot, free toilets and shower service awaiting surfers.

"Ubara Utopia"
Developed in early 20th century as coastal resort, it became Yukio Mishima's novel stage in the past for a beautiful cape.

"Katsuura Tantan-men" noodle (spicy)
A hot and tasty local food. It contains chili oil, baked onion, and meat with soy sauce based soup. There are 40 restaurants competing, each with their original flavors.

"Katsuura Girls Festival"
Wishing for the fine growth of girls, the traditional event has been held from ancient times in Japan. Over tens of thousands of Hina dolls are gathered and used to decorate the shops, temples, and 60 steps of Tomisaki Shrine from the end of February to the beginning of March. 200,000 tourists come to see them.

Date Modified September 2017
For Enquiries
International Exchange Division
Tel : +81-3-5213-1723
Fax : +81-3-5213-1742
Email :
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