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City of Hannover (Lower Saxony, Federal Republic of Germany)

Hanover City Hall

Sister City Agreement

Established June 27, 1983 (date of Hiroshima City Council approval)

Hannover Facts and Figures

Who's in charge?
Lord Mayor Belit Onay (assumed office in 2019)

How many people live there?
Approximately 530,000 people (as of August 2017)

How big is Hannover?
204 km squared (approx. 0.2 times the size of Hiroshima City)

Where is it?
Niedersachsen Province in northern Germany (approximately 250 km west of Berlin)

What's the weather like?
Even though it's geographically higher in latitude than Hokkaido, warm air currents create a relatively mild climate.

Get to Know Hannover

Hannover City is the capital of Niedersachsen Province and the greater urban conurbation, which includes twenty other cities, towns, and villages in the area and has a population of approximately 1.06 million. It is an elegant city, housing the palatial gardens of the House of Hannover, in which the King of England resided as Viceroy in the 18th century.

Hannover was subjected to aerial bombing raids on 88 occasions during the Second World War, resulting in the destruction of approximately 2/3 of the city. Yet, the post-war period witnessed the city's development into Germany's twelfth largest city under an incredible city plan that embodied traditions from the Middle Ages, and it came once again to be known as a "great city surrounded by nature."

As a provincial capital, Hannover is currently not only a political and economic center, but also a strategic point for road and rail transport that fully utilizes the unique geographical features of the area. In addition, the city acts as a cultural center, boasting a host of museums, galleries, and theatres. With thriving automobile, aircraft, electrical machinery, and chemical product manufacturing industries, the city is known as the "world showcase for industrial goods," by virtue of possessing the largest trade fair venue in the world.

In 2000, Hanover became the first German city to host an international exposition.

A Little History About Our Sister City Agreement

picture of Mayor Matsui presents the Mayor of Hanover with Honorary Citizenship
Mayor Matsui presents the Mayor of Hannover with Honorary Citizenship

In 1968, inspired by the Japan-Germany cultural agreement, the President of the International Youth Association of Hiroshima led 130 young people (including two from Hiroshima) on a visit to Hannover as part of a Japan-Germany Youth Exchange Project. This paved the way for further reciprocal youth visits between the two cities, which laid the groundwork for the future sister city agreement.

In 1972, the Mayor of Hiroshima visited Hannover for the first time, thus extending these exchanges to the administrative level. These citizen and administrative exchanges fostered amicable relations between the two cities, which in turn strengthened the desire for concluding a sister city agreement.

On May 27, 1983, the Mayor of Hiroshima and a representative from City Council signed the sister city agreement in Hannover. In the agreement it is stated that, "Both of our cities and citizens have experienced the horrors of war in their histories. In view of the fact that they have both been revived as major cities in their respective countries, we recognize the necessity of contributing together for the establishment of world peace and will work for the promotion of mutual exchanges in a broad range of areas in order to further increase mutual respect, trust and understanding."

Building Bridges Through Exchange

Mutual visits through youth exchange groups continue today, providing a pillar of support for exchanges between the cities. In particular, proactive exchanges take place in the field of sado, the Japanese art of tea ceremony. Exchanges are also being consolidated through a variety of other channels such as the construction of Hannover Garden in Hiroshima, and Hiroshima Garden in Hannover, the participation of Hiroshima enterprises in the Hannover Consumer Goods Trade Fair, mutual visits by sports groups, visits by the Goodwill Wings citizen delegation from Hiroshima, the inclusion of a Hannover Beer Tent in the 1989 Hiroshima Sea & Islands Exposition, and joint photography exhibitions held by groups from both cities.

In the field of academic exchange there have been mutual exchanges of lecturers and students between Hiroshima City University and the University of Applied Science and Arts in Hannover (Hochschule Hannover) every year since 1997.

Hannover is extremely active in the promotion of peace. The Executive Conference of Mayors for Peace (formerly the World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Intercity Solidarity) was held in Hannover, the Vice President City of this organization, in 2000. In addition, Hannover was appointed as a Lead City of Mayors for Peace in 2015. The City of Hannover also holds a Peace Memorial Ceremony annually on August 6 at the  Aegidienkirche.

In 2013, on the 30th anniversary of the sister city agreement, an 8-member delegation representing the City of Hiroshima and a 17-member citizens’ delegation visited Hannover and participated in events including a commemorative ceremony. A group of 8 artists from Hiroshima also participated in Summer Festival in Hannover, showcasing Japanese calligraphy and the tea ceremony. From the City of Hannover, a 10-member delegation visited our city for the Hannover Day commemorative event and also attended the Peace Memorial Ceremony. When a group of 28 citizens from Hannover visited Hiroshima, they took part in a tea ceremony and had exchanges with Hiroshima’s Japan-German Society.

Inquiries regarding this page

International Relations Division, Citizens Affairs Bureau
1-6-34 Kokutaiji-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima
Tel: +81 82-504-2106 // Fax: +81 82-249-6460
Email: kokusai@city.hiroshima.lg.jp