Sister City Nishio, Japan

This page describes Nishio city, Porirua City's Sister City in Japan.

Nishio Council Building.

Above: The new City Council building was completed in October 2009. The main building has seven stories, solar panels to supply a part of electricity, a rain water harvesting system to provide emergency drinking water (the water is used to water plants and to flush toilets in ordinary times). It also has a Japanese garden and a lawn space which serves as an evacuation spot in case of a disaster.

Description of Nishio City 

The City of Nishio has a population of 101,000 and is located in the south of Aichi Prefecture, 35 kilometres from Nagoya and looking out over Mikawa Bay. With a rich soil and mild climate, the area has long been a place of human settlement, dating back to the Jomon period which began 12,000 years ago.   Nishio’s many old temples and shrines, and traditional festivals and performing arts are evidence of the city’s prosperity over thousands of years.  Nishio’s Saijo Castle dates from the year of Jokyu (1221), and is said to have been built by the great warrior Yoshiuji Ashikaga.

The municipality of Nishio was established in 1953, and the city has become the focal point of the southern West Mikawa area. Nishio continues to grow steadily, and has become an important service centre for the region’s huge automobile industry.

As well as attracting industrial activity, the area is well suited for various types of agriculture, thanks to a warm climate and the fertile soil of the Yahagi River plain. Nishio is the largest producer of powdered green tea in Japan, and the region is home to a thriving horticultural industry.   Nishio makes a significant contribution to the prefecture's reputation as Aichi, Kingdom of Flowers.'

Porirua’s sister city agreement with Nishio was signed on 15th December 1993.   The two cities regularly engage in a range of activities, summarised as Education, Culture and Recreation and Civic/Business.

Nishio Mayor Sakakibara Yasumasa.Nishio's Mayor

Mayor Sakakibara was born in Nishio City in April 1940. He took office as Nishio’s mayor in July 2009. Prior to being elected as Mayor, he served as a Councillor of Nishio City from September 1991 to October 1993, and then as Councillor of Aichi Prefectural Assembly from April 1995 to June 2009.

Personal Message:

I send special greetings to the people of Porirua.

It gives me immense pleasure to see the sister-city relationship between Porirua City and Nishio City has grown steadily over the years since its establishment in December 1993. In the course of our partnership, there have been many official and unofficial visitations, student exchanges and other forms of friendship activities.

Through such exchange programs, many people of Nishio have a special interest and affinity for Porirua and New Zealand. I would like to thank the people of Porirua for always giving a warm welcome to our people during their visits in Porirua.

On April 1, 2011 Nishio City will merge with the neighbouring three towns, Isshiki, Kira and Hazu to become a "new"  Nishio City with a population of 170,000 and a land area of 160.34 sq km. With outstanding natural resources – the sea, hills, rivers and islands, and with the flourishing tea, flower and eel farming industries we will inherit, Nishio City will become even more attractive. I look forward to having Porirua’s people here in this city with abundant resources of tourism and with a rich history and well preserved traditional culture.

I am keen to promote further exchanges and cooperation between our two cities and hope our ties continue to strengthen.

Education in Nishio

Regular school group exchanges are a feature of the sister city link.  Every year, one Senior High School and one Junior High School group visit Porirua, where they are hosted by a local school. The purpose of these visits is to give the young people of Nishio a New Zealand experience within a controlled programme.  The visits have stimulated a lot of interest in Porirua, and three host schools now make regular reciprocal visits to Nishio.  Wonderful educational opportunities and lasting friendships have resulted from this regular series of exchanges.  Fee-paying students from Nishio regularly come to study in Porirua, attracted by the excellent range of educational opportunities offered, and the knowledge that in Porirua they are among friends.

Culture and Recreation

Exchanges under this heading take a range of forms.  A Nishio citizens’ group visits Porirua annually, participating in homestays and engaging in leisure activities.  From these visits numerous friendships have developed, and many Porirua residents have paid return visits to Nishio to enjoy the fine hospitality of the Japanese people.  Sporting exchanges, artwork exhibitions and performing arts tours have also taken place and continue to be scheduled.

Civic/Business activities 

Underlying all successful sister and friendly city links, particularly those with Asian countries, is a strong local government commitment to support for community initiatives.  Nishio and Porirua City Councils engage in regular exchanges, both at staff and elected representative level.  As well as providing the platform for direct community links, these exchanges also provide participants with a unique insight into the issues facing local governments around the world, and the opportunity to discuss ways of dealing with them.  On the back of the core people to people links, work is now ongoing to develop business opportunities, identified and potential.

Links to more information