Sister City - Akkeshi
Sponsorship of Clarence School Visits to Akkeshi, Japan
Clarence City Council offers schools in Clarence the opportunity to apply for sponsorship to travel to Clarence's sister city of Akkeshi in Japan. The sponsorship provides a basis for continued cultural exchange between the Clarence and Akkeshi school communities and encourages the development of sister schools.
Akkeshi is a town on the South East Coast of Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, with a population of 12,800 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.
About Akkeshi: http://www.akkeshi-town.jp/english01
Recent History of Visits
There have been numerous and regular exchanges and visits since the sister-city agreement was made in 1982.
In 2012, Clarence and Akkeshi celebrated the 30th anniversary of the sister city agreement. DUe to the tsunami in 2011, celebrations were delayed to 2014.
Exchanges so far include:
April 2016 visit by Rose Bay High School students to Akkeshi
March 2016 visit by Akkeshi students to Rose Bay High School
2014 visit by the Mayor of Akkeshi, Yasushi Wakasa to Clarence to celebrate 30th anniversary
2010 a Council delegation visited Akkeshi
2008 a party of 20 students and three staff from Rose Bay High School visited Akkeshi supported by the Clarence City Council Akkeshi scholarship
2006, the Australia-Japan Year of Exchange, a a photographic exchange was held between Akkeshi and Clarence, with an exhibition held in the Schoolhouse Gallery at Rosny Farm.
In March 2004 a party comprising three members of the Iris Club of Akkeshi, a school teacher 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 September 2003 a council delegation visited Akkeshi to mark the 21st anniversary of the sister city agreement.
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.
For more information on the sister city relationship and sponsorship opprtunities, phone 6217 9532.