By Yu Kawamura - December 2017
Hello, my name is Yu Kawamura from the Japan Local Government Centre (CLAIR) in Sydney. I am seconded from a town called Rokunohe in Aomori prefecture, Japan. Rokunohe is located in the northern part of Japan and is rich in nature just like Lower Hutt.
CLAIR facilitates the international activities of Japanese local government, gathers information on local development efforts of other countries and helps communicate the Japanese local government system to the world. Our Sydney office supports Japanese government officials in New Zealand and Australia by facilitating visits and exchange programmes, liaising between local governments and researching local government systems for the benefit of Japanese prefectures and municipalities. Specifically, we support international activities of Japanese local governments, promote sister city relationships between New Zealand / Australia, and promote the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programmes and support JET Alumni Associations.
I was undergoing an internship at Hutt City Council from 16 to 22 November. I was able to enjoy many great experiences such as visiting community hub facilities, meeting with students who were in Minoh visiting their Sister School and joining Japanese classes. In addition, I participated in the Hutt Japan Day Festival and Sister City New Zealand (SCNZ) ‘Korero 2017’ function. I was able to learn more about policies and projects in Lower Hutt and the strong relationship between Lower Hutt and Minoh. Through my internship I was able to understand why many people who live in Lower Hutt have a deep attachment to Japan.
Thank you very much for allowing me to undertake an internship in your lovely city. CLAIR will continue to support the wonderful and strong relationship between Lower Hutt and Minoh.
Assistant Director (Rokunohe, Aomori Prefecture),
Japan Local Government Centre (CLAIR Sydney)