Sister Cities Enhance Relations

While Canada and Japan have continually deepened their friendly relations over recent decades, municipalities across both countries have taken initiatives to enhance this goodwill at the grassroots level.

"Sister cities" is a general term given to municipalities which, over the course of long-term relations, decided at one point to formalise their friendly relations. (The other commonly used term used to be "twinning", but it is falling out of use because of the lack of flexibility when more than two municipalities are involved.) These agreements most often occur between cities bearing similarities in such characteristics as size, climate, geography and industry. The agreement usually is the start of greater information and cultural exchange between the municipalities. Exchanges of students, art exhibits and study missions between governments or industries are common projects which arise out of sister city relations.

For further information, and assistance in establishing relationships with local governments in Japan, including sister cities, please consult the Council of Local Auhtorities for International Relations Web site. For a list of Japan-Canada local affiliation agreements, click here.