TWO decades of links between Warrnambool and the Japanese city of Miura will be celebrated next week when Miura mayor Yoshida drops in for two days of official ceremonies.
Warrnambool mayor Jacinta Ermacora will accompany her Miura counterpart to officially unveil a new rotunda at the Miura Friendship Gardens on Wednesday morning, marking the 20th anniversary of the sister city relationship.
Mayor Yoshida will also visit Brauer and Warrnambool colleges and attend a civic reception in the evening.
The following day he will visit Tower Hill and Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory before leaving Warrnambool on Friday morning.
Cr Ermacora said the visit would be an exciting opportunity to exchange news and ideas between the two cities.
“Warrnambool and Miura share a lot of similarities, both being on the coast and popular tourist destinations in the summer months,” she said.
“We also have a strong focus on how the two cities can benefit each other, including student and employment exchange programs.”
Miura is 50 kilometres south of Tokyo with a population of about 50,000.
Its major industry is fishing, with the main catches being squid, tuna, abalone and cockles. Agriculture production includes radishes, melons, cabbages, pumpkins and mandarins.
Warrnambool City Council’s ties to the Japanese city began in 1992 when the then Warrnambool-Miura Friendship Committee was formed.
Councillors from Warrnambool and Miura have since made several return visits.
“The 20th anniversary is a great opportunity to reflect on the combined contributions from both cities so far,” Cr Ermacora said.
“And it’s also a chance to look towards the future and what our sister city relationship can provide in the next 20 years.”