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Takasago City, Japan | Latrobe Sister City Relationships

Takasago City, Japan

Takasago City, with a population of approximately 100,000 and an area of 34 square kilometres, is located in the middle-south part of Hyogo Prefecture. In terms of population Takasago is the tenth largest local government area in Hyogo Prefecture.

Takasago is a cultural showcase with shrines, temples and especially the Oshiko Floating Stone and the pine trees in Takasago Shrine. It is a major industrial area in the region, including paper, food, iron, steel, machinery, ceramics, chemicals and power generation. Takasago is well known as the birth place of the classical song “Youkyuku Takasago”, which is a famous wedding song that is sung at Shinto weddings throughout Japan.  Takasago declared the city as “The Bridal City Takasago” in 1988 – hoping for peace and happiness for all human beings and a healthy, bright and lively city.

Takasago and Latrobe

Our relationship with Takasago was born out of a multi million-dollar economic development project undertaken in Latrobe Valley by Japanese Company Kobe Steel in the 1980s.  Over 200 families from the Takasago area resided in Latrobe Valley during this time and had a significant economic impact on the region.  At the request of Kobe Steel and Takasago City, the former City of Morwell (now part of Latrobe City) commenced the process of establishing a relationship with Takasago City in the early 1990s.  This ultimately led to Latrobe City Council entering into a formal relationship with Takasago City in October 2000.  The agreement was signed by the then Mayor Tony Hanning and Mr Hirokazu Tamura, Mayor of Takasago. In 2010, re-affirmation of the Sister Cities agreement was signed which demonstrates the strength and commitment between the two cities.

Past Exchanges

Student Visit Program

  • 2001  April     - 10 Latrobe students visited Takasago City
  • 2002  August - 10 Takasago students visited Latrobe City
  • 2004 August - 10 Takasago students visited Latrobe City
  • 2006  August - 10 Takasago students visited Latrobe City 
  • 2008  August - Takasago Jazz Band visited Latrobe City
  • 2016   August - 6 Takasago students visited Latrobe City
  • 2017  August -  8 Takasago Art students visited Latrobe City

Sports Exchange

  • 2006   January - 12 female basketball players and 14
     male soccer players with seven accompanying adults visited Takasago City.
  • 2012   March - 10 Judo players visited Takasago City
  • 2015 August – Takasago Sports Exchange Program, 6 students visited Latrobe City
  • 2016   November – 10 long distance runners from Latrobe City participated in the 30th Takasago Marathon
  • 2017  June – 10 runners from Takasago participated in the 50th Traralgon Marathon

Artists Exchange

  • 2010  March/June –To celebrate the ten year anniversary of our sister city agreement, four emerging artists visited Takasago City for two weeks and  four Takasago artists visited Latrobe City for one week. The artworks were exchanged as gifts to commemorate the anniversary.

Latrobe City Youth Band

  • 2002   Establishment of Latrobe City Youth Band
  • 2004   January - Latrobe City Youth Band Tour to Takasago City and Taizhou City
  • 2005  Tour of Central Victoria
  • 2008 January - Latrobe City Youth Band Tour to Takasago City and Taizhou City
  • 2014   June – 17 Young Musicians Visited Takasago City and Taizhou City

Mayoral Led Delegations and Community Members Visits

  • 2002 August - Members of Latrobe Friendly Society from Takasago visited Latrobe City for  1 week
  • 2002 December - Members of Takasago Friendly Society visited Takasago City
  • 2005   September - 30 Members of Latrobe Friendly Society participated in the Japanese  Day and the Australian Sister City Association National Conference in Latrobe City
  • 2009  October – Latrobe City Business Delegation to Takasago
  • 2010  October – Celebration 10 year anniversary, Takasago Mayor led a delegation  participated in the Japanese day
  • 2018  April – Latrobe City Business Delegation visited Takasago

ALT (Assistant Language Teacher)

The following Latrobe City residents have participated in the ALT program, assisting our sister city Takasago in teaching English at junior high schools and primary schools in Takasago for 12 months:

  • 2001/2002  Janine Edbrooke
  • 2002/2003 Simone Fenech
  • 2003/2004  Fabian Rutherford
  • 2004/2005  Rebecca Stait
  • 2005/2006  Joelene Thompson
  • 2006/2007  Catherine Reid
  • 2007/2008  Catherine Reid
  • 2010/2011 Katrina Steel
  • 2011/2014 Louis Patterson
  • 2014/2015 Elizabeth Bacchetti
  • 2015/2016 Samantha Taylor
  • 2016/2018 Melissa Larkins

Takasago Friendly Society

Latrobe City established the Takasago Friendly Society (TFS) in 2001, comprising those people who are interested in assisting with the hospitality of International visitors within the community.  The primary purpose of the TFS is to help Latrobe City host its visitors from Takasago City.  Members of the Society play a key role in hosting international visitors and showing its visitors around the region, being a host family for a few nights and/or any other activities. 

Cherry Blossom Avenue

On 4 June 1991, fifteen Mount Fuji Flowering Cherry Blossom Trees were planted by Japanese staff of Brown Coal Liquefaction Victoria (BCLV) to serve as a constant reminder of the lasting friendships made between Japanese staff of the pilot Coal to Oil Plant and the residents of the then City of Morwell. These Flowering Cherry Blossom Trees were planted at Kernot Hall, Morwell and continue to blossom throughout spring each year bringing Kernot Hall alive with a real Japanese feel.

Latrobe Friendly Society

Based in Takasago, the Latrobe Friendly Society was established in February 2003 to promote friendly ties between the people of Takasago City and the people of Latrobe City.  It is comprised of enthusiastic members, with various and unique talents in the community.  The members of the Society play a role in the organisation of visits from Latrobe City, including organising an itinerary, escorting the visitors around the City, assistance of Assistant Language Teacher and any other activities.

Japanese Day

Since its inception in 2004, Japanese Day has proven to be a successful community event where people get together to celebrate their sister city’s culture and appreciate the sister city relationship with Takasago City. This event is held annually in October and continues to attract over 3,000 people annually.

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