The City of Hiroshima
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|The City of Chongqing (People's Republic of China)|
Date of Signing of the Friendship City
As the center of commerce and industry in Southwestern China, Chongqing is the largest central government-administered municipality* in terms of population in China. Chongqing developed at the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Jialing River, a branch of the Yangtze. Being surrounded by beautiful mountains, it is also sometimes called the "Mountain City." From a long time ago Chongqing has served as a land and water transportation hub for Southwestern China in addition to prospering as a center for trade. Having a history of over 3000 years, Chongqing was the capital of the Ba Kingdom during China's Warring States period. With Zhao Chun of the southern Song Dynasty becoming a prince in 1189 and later ascending to the status of emperor, the city began to be called Chongqing, which means "double celebration." During the Second World War, between 1939 and 1945, Chongqing served as the temporary capital of the Kuomintang government.
Today, Chongqing is one of China's six main manufacturing centers, actively involved in a large field of industries including transportation machinery, metals, pharmaceuticals and food processing. On the other hand, as a city blessed with greenery and water, Chongqing is also a city rich in tourist resources such as beautiful scenic spots and a large amount of cultural assets, with much effort being put into passing on traditional culture such as the Sichuan opera. In the future, the region is expected to make further leaps through the Western Area Development project and the Three Gorges Dam project.
(*Central Government-Administered Municipality: Cities on the same level as provinces which are directly administered by the Chinese central government. In 1997, Chongqing was elevated to the level of a central government-administered municipality. The other cities designated as such are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.)
Background to the Friendship City Agreement
Beginning in 1980, the Hiroshima City Council's delegation to China continuously visited Chongqing, bringing about such exchange as mutual visits between administrative officials. With Chongqing having made strenuous efforts to revive the city's population following the heavy loss suffered during the war and having a high level of consciousness regarding the desire for peace, Hiroshima and Chongqing have many similarities as cities. Furthermore, the joining in 1984 of Hiroshima Prefecture and Sichuan Province (of which Chongqing at the time was a part) in a friendship agreement also became a factor in raising the intent of the City of Hiroshima and the City of Chongqing to sign a friendship agreement.
On October 23, 1986, Hiroshima welcomed the Mayor Of Chongqing and representatives from that city's People's Representative Assembly (equivalent to a city council). At this time, a friendship city agreement was signed in Hiroshima, serving as a point of departure for the further development of exchange between both cities. This agreement declared that, "We will strive towards the realization of cooperation and exchange in various fields in order to further promote friendship and mutual understanding, to encourage relations of friendship between Chinese and Japanese citizens for future generations and to contribute to the peace of Asia and the world."
Development of Exchange
Since the signing of the friendship agreement, exchange in a wide variety of fields has been proceeding between Chongqing and Hiroshima. These exchange projects include the participation of a Chongqing City representative in the World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-city Solidarity (presently called Mayors for Peace), the exchange of artwork by elementary school students, the mutual hosting of performances by song and dance groups, goodwill matches between sports teams, the exchange of animals, the mutual establishment of the Yuhua Garden and the Hiroshima Garden, the dispatch of the citizen delegation Goodwill Wings, the receiving of trainees in the study of automotive maintenance technology, joint research in manufacturing technology and the receiving of visiting delegations to observe various fields of government operations. In addition, in cooperation with Hiroshima Prefecture, Sichuan Province and Chongqing City, the Acid Rain Research and Exchange Center was established in Chongqing, receiving researchers in related fields and serving as a forum for international cooperation aimed at solving the environmental problems of Chongqing.
In recent years, exchange with Chongqing has broadened even more through academic exchange between universities, medical science exchange between city hospitals, the submission of artwork to the Children's Peace Drawings Competition by children from Chongqing and the receiving of agricultural observation and training groups.
In 2001, the mayors of Hiroshima and Chongqing signed a memorandum related to economic exchange with the intent to further promote mutually profitable activities such as the expansion of businesses in the automotive industry while further developing exchange projects that have been conducted until now. Based on this memorandum, both cities made concrete plans to solidify efforts toward enlivening automotive-related industries in 2002.
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by: International Relations Division, International Peace Promotion
Citizens' Affairs Bureau, The City of Hiroshima
Address： 6-34 KOKUTAIJIMACHI 1-CHOME, NAKA-KU, HIROSHIMA 730-8586
TEL：(082)247-0127 (in Japan)
TEL：+81-82-247-0127 (from abroad)
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