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Mayor of Kasama City, Japan, Pays a Courtesy Call to Taipei City Government to Propose a Golf Exchange Program for Elementary and Junior High School Students Between Two Cities

Mayor of Kasama City, Japan, Pays a Courtesy Call to Taipei City Government

On November 3, 2022, Shinju Yamaguchi, Mayor of Kasama City, Japan, and his delegation were received by Tom Chou, Commissioner of Mayor’s Office for External Affairs, as well as departmental supervisors of Taipei City Government. The Japanese delegation and Taipei City Government shared their experiences and exchanged ideas for potential collaborations. The most notable among these collaborations were a short-term officials exchange program, in which government officials from both governments would work in each other’s governmental offices for a short period, and a golf exchange program for elementary and junior high school students.

According to Commissioner Chou, the short-term officials exchange program between Taipei City and Kasama City was approved in 2020 but had been suspended until October of this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this program, Taipei City Jiancheng Land Office has sent a Japanese-speaking official to work in the tourism department of the Kasama City Government for 6 months. This work experience exchange is expected to expand the official’s knowledge of Japanese culture and their global outlook.

Mayor Yamaguchi commented on the outstanding performance of this official, saying that this program would boost tourism between Taiwan and Japan and expressing his hope that more exchange programs with Taipei City Government can be established.

Mayor Yamaguchi also stated that because of the friendship between Taiwan and Japan and their mutual contribution to each other’s tourism market, collaborations between the two had great potential. Kasama City is now planning to launch an online exchange program with Xikou Elementary School in Taipei City and is looking forward to more exchanges between elementary and junior high school students in the two cities.

Chou stated that golf is a highly popular sport in Taiwan. The Taiwanese golfer Pan Cheng-Tsung won bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which boosted the number of people playing golf in Taiwan. Chou agreed with Mayor Yamaguchi’s proposal to promote exchange between the two cities through this sport.

Chou also said that with Taiwan easing its border restrictions in October this year, the number of tourists traveling abroad was expected to soar. He believed that the lifting of border restrictions would trigger explosive growth in tourism for both Japan and Taiwan.

Kasama City is located in the central Ibaraki Prefecture and is a city of rich history widely known for producing Kasama ware and chestnuts. It is home to many heritage sites, including ancient Shinto shrines and temples. The city has nine golf courses in total and hosted golf players from Taiwan during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics on its nine golf courses. In 2018, the Representative Taiwan Office of Kasama City, Ibaraki, Japan, was established in Taipei City. All these initiatives reflect the mutually beneficial exchange and close reciprocal ties between the two cities.