Kaohsiung Delegation's Visit to Japan / 城市外交之旅── 日本參訪
◎Written by Tousan ◎Photograph by Jung-hui Pao
During end of April 2006, Acting Mayor Chu-lan Yeh led Kaohsiung's delegation on a 5-day visit to Japan. The delegation met with Mr. Takeo Hiranuma, Chairman of Japan-ROC Diet Members' Consultative Council , Mrs. Chikage Ogi, President of the Upper House, Mr. Hiroshi Nakada, Mayor of Yokohama, Mr. Shintaro Ishihara, Governor of Tokyo, and Mr. Ryuichi Kurosu, Mayor of Hachioji.
Since the 1970s, Taiwan has experienced a number of diplomatic setbacks. These setbacks have been predominately due to China's emergence as a huge economic power. These meetings presented opportunities for Kaohsiung to exchange views on urban development with Tokyo, Yokohama and Hachioji. It also gave Mayor Yeh the opportunity to meet with a few political heavyweights. Mayor Yeh cherished this experience very much and appreciated Japan's recognition of her contributions to democracy and peace in Taiwan. She also treasured the recognition given to Kaohsiung's efforts.
One of the goals of the visit was to establish a closer relationship with Hachioji City. There is a mountain called Mt. Takao in Hachioji. In Chinese, Takao and Kaohsiung are written the same way. Takao is how the Japanese pronounce Kaohsiung. On November 3rd of last year, this coincidence brought about a visit from Hachioji's Mayor Kurosu. Deputy Mayor Tanaka also visited Kaohsiung on February 21st of this year. Mayor Yeh's trip was a quest to establish a lasting relationship between the two cities.
The land area of Hachioji is similar to that of Kaohsiung's, but only has one third of the population. Hachioji has 21 colleges and universities. Hachioji has a well-developed sewage system and is only 40 minutes away from Shinjuku City. It provides a very desirable living environment for its residents.
On May 1st, the proposal to increase goodwill exchanges between Hachioji and Kaohsiung was approved in Hachioji's City Council. Hachioji has officially committed to strengthening bonds with Kaohsiung. It is not only a giant leap forward for Kaohsiung, but also a diplomatic breakthrough for Taiwan. At present, the only other city in Taiwan that has established such a relationship with a Japanese city is Hsinchu. Hsinchu has established a relationship with Okayama City. These types interactions can raise Kaohsiung's international visibility, and bring about more integration with the rest of the world.
Recently, Kaohsiung has come into the forefront of the international arena. Under Mayor Yeh's leadership and other collective efforts, Kaohsiung hopes to increase its diplomatic relations.
高雄市代理市長葉菊蘭於４月下旬帶領市府訪問團一行人赴日展開為期５天的交流訪問，在這５天行程中拜會日本議員對台友好組織「日華議員懇談會」平沼赳夫會長（Mr.HIRAZAWA Takeo）、日本參議院扇千景議長（Mrs.Oogi Chikage）、亞洲各港灣城市聯盟(CITYNET)之發起城市橫濱市中田宏市長（Mr. NAKADA Hirosi）、東京都石原慎太郎知事（Mr.ISHIHARA Sintoro）及八王子市黑須隆一市長（Mr.KUROSU Takaichi）等。