To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Zhongshan and Moriguchi, a photo exhibition of the 30-year friendship between the two cities was held at the Zhongshan’s Art & Culture Center on December 4th.
Tang Bingquan, former Executive Vice-Governor of Guangdong Province, as well as the director general of the Sun Yat-sen Foundation, Lu Shumin, former Party Secretary and Executive Vice President of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, Katsuki Nishibata, Mayor of Moriguchi, Sawaii Ryichi, former President of Moriguchi’s council and Ishizuka Hideki, Consul-General of Japan in Guangzhou presented the photo exhibition.
On behalf of the CPC Zhongshan Committee and the government of Zhongshan, Chen Xudong, the Secretary of the CPC Zhongshan Committee, sincerely welcomed Katsuki Nishibata and his fellows from Moriguchi. Chen expressed his heartfelt gratitude to both cities for the long-term efforts to maintain and grow the friendly exchanges between Zhongshan and Moriguchi.
Chen stated that Chinese President Xi Jinping had met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 summit in Argentina, emphasizing that the relationship between China and Japan is looking more favorable conditions ever before. President Xi emphasized that the potential for economic cooperation and trade between the two countries is huge, it is necessary for both sides to further expand local and cultural exchanges and consolidate public support for bilateral ties.
Chen said that Moriguchi is the first city to be tied to Zhongshan, the two cities have established a profound friendship since the establishment of the friendly relations in 1988. Zhongshan and Moriguchi have had frequent exchanges in the fields of economy, trade, education, culture, sports and urban construction.
Chen indicated that it is important to further consolidate and develop the friendship between the two cities. Chen hoped that Zhongshan and Moriguchi will work together for the future and carry out more high-level and wider scope projects
Wei Weihan，Mayor of Zhongshan said that over the past 30 years, the friendship and mutual understanding between the people of two cities has deepened. At present, Zhongshan is taking advantage of the historic opportunities brought by the establishment of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Wei said Zhongshan will seize the opportunities presented by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area across the fields of infrastructure, industrial upgrade, technological innovation, ecological environmental protection. Wei pointed out that Zhongshan will further expand opening-up and promote high quality development.
Wei expressed that he sincerely welcomes entrepreneurs from Moriguchi come and make investment in Zhongshan and participate in the construction of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area so that people from two cities can cooperate and share their achievements.
Katsuki Nishibata said that this is his second visit to Zhongshan since he took over as the Mayor of Moriguchi, and that Zhongshan has left a deep impression on him. Mr Nishibata echoed the sentiments that thanks to the joint effort of both cities, Zhonshan and Moriguchi have together composed the story of a 30-year friendship and have conducted extensive exchange and cooperation, hoping that the friendly relations between the two cities will be further deepened, and the links between the two places will become tighter and cooperation will be more extensive and active.
During the early years of China’s Reform and opening-up, a Japanese company established the Yangtze River Theme Park in Zhongshan, which kicked off the cooperation between Zhongshan and Moriguchi.
The photo exhibition reviews the history of both Zhongshan and Moriguchi.. After visiting the exhibition, representatives from two cities went to the Sun Wen Memorial Park and planted a flame tree together in memory of the 30 years friendship.
In 1984, the then Mayor of Moriguchi, Masaki Kawasaki, took a delegation to visit Zhongshan and invited Zhongshan’s government to visit Japan.
On April 18, 1988, the mayors of the two cities officially signed the "Zhongshan- Moriguchi Agreement on the Establishment of Friendship Cities" in Moriguchi, opening a historic chapter in the story of the two cities. Moriguchi became the city’s first international friendship city after Zhongshan was upgraded to a prefecture-level city.
In 1993, Kita Hiromi, the then mayor of the Moriguchi, was awarded the title of “Honorary citizen of Zhongshan City” by the Standing Committee of Zhongshan’s People Congress. He was city’s the first foreign honorary citizen.
100 years ago, Sun Yat-sen presented “Sun Yat-sen Lotus” as a souvenir to his Japanese friend who supported his revolution. This March, the delegation of Zhongshan went to Japan with the descendants of Sun Yat-sen and brought the root of “Sun Yat-sen Lotus” back to Sun Yat-sen’s birthplace. The lotus further emphasises the story of friendship between China and Japan.
Author: Steven Yuen, Hainan Song
Editor: Simon Haywood