Sister City - Akkeshi
Clarence and Akkeshi celebrate 30 years as Sister Cities!
Arrangements to meet in the 30th anniversary year have been put on hold since the devastation of last year's tsunami, however as Akkeshi recovers it is hoped that Clarence will continue to give and receive friendship and support from this unique, welcoming and hard-working town in the far north of Japan.
Akkeshi - 2011 Tsunami update
According to the Akkeshi Town Council tsunami damage to the production of o ysters and clams, including aquaculture facilities, totalled approximately AUS$38 million. Single seed spat technology that Clarence exchanged with Akkeshi almost twenty years ago has assisted the town considerably in getting its aquaculture industry back into production.
Sponsorship of Clarence School Visits to Akkeshi, Japan
The farewell on our last day was quite emotional. There were many hugs and tears on both sides. Students maintain that their experiences with their host families in Akkeshi were the most rewarding aspect of their entire trip to Japan. Many students expressed a desire to return to Akkeshi. The climate and pace of the township ignited a sense of familiarity in the students, many of whom agreed that they felt at home in Akkeshi.
The students are very motivated to continue correspondence with the Akkeshi community and their host families. They would be delighted to reciprocate and are eager for this to occur as soon as possible.
Mrs Helen Muller, Trip Co-ordinator, Teacher of Japanese, Rose Bay High School, 2008
A total of $10,000 is available for travel in 2012/2013. The scholarships can be shared among more than one successful applicant school.
Akkeshi is a town on the South East Coast of Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, with a population of 12800 people.
The life and history of the town is closely linked to the sea and to the surrounding farming areas. The sister city relationship between Clarence and Akkeshi is based on historical and geographical grounds.
Historically the association can be linked to the whaling ship Lady Rowena ex Clarence which put ashore at Kiritappu for supplies in 1831 however, if this is not accepted in the records for "first" or "earliest", Clarence can claim that on 16 April 1850 a whaling ship, the Eamont, registered in Hobart, was wrecked two kilometres off Mabiro Beach, Akkeshi. The thirty-two man crew was rescued by the people of Akkeshi and cared for until they could be repatriated back to Australia. This is believed to be one of the earliest Australia-Japan links.
Geographically Akkeshi and Clarence have many similarities. Both are located on the 43rd parallel and both have a close affinity with surrounding waterways. Akkeshi is located on the northern island of Japan while Clarence is located in the southern most state of Australia and both have close associations with ships, fishing and aquaculture.
The Japanese writer Masako Endo, who was researching early links between Australia and Japan, was asked by the City of Akkeshi to explore possible twin sister links when she visited Tasmanian in 1979.
The relationship was formalised with the signing of a sister-city agreement at a special meeting of the Clarence Council attended by the Mayor of Akkeshi on 9 February 1982.
There is a regular exchange of letters on appropriate occasions and a regular exchange of copies of newsletters.
Recent History of Visits
2002 marked the 20th Anniversary of the Sister City Agreement between Akkeshi and Clarence and the 10th occasion on which members of the Iris Club of Akkeshi accompanied by schoolchildren from Akkeshi have visited Clarence.
The occasion was marked by the visit to Clarence by the Mayor of Akkeshi, Yasushi Wakasa, accompanied by Mrs Junko Wakasa, Mr Jasuji Matsuoka - Chairman of town council, Mrs Humiko Matsuoka, Mr Hitoshi Kozawa - Member of town council, Mrs Kei Kozawa, Mr Shoji Kuroda - Town office planning and financial section chief, Mr Tohrum Ishizuk - Town office planning and financial Sub-section chief.
In September 2003 a council delegation visited Akkeshi to mark the 21st anniversary of the sister city agreement.
In March 2004 a party comprising three members of the Iris Club of Akkeshi, a schoolteacher and eight children visited Clarence for a week-long stay that included attendance at local schools. In March 2006 members of the Iris Club of Akkeshi accompanied a group of Junior High School students to visit Clarence. The students were hosted by families of students of MacKillop College.
In 2006, the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange, a Photographic Exchange was held between Akkeshi and Clarence, with an exhibition being held in the Schoolhouse Gallery, Rosny Farm.
In 2008 a party of 20 students and three staff from Rose Bay High School visited Akkeshi supported by the Clarence City Council Akkeshi Scholarship.
A Council delegation again visited Akkeshi in May 2010. Dowload a report on the visit
About Akkeshi: http://www.akkeshi-town.jp/english01
For more information phone 6245 8651.