A contingent of students from Hamilton’s sister city, Saitama, were hosted by Hamilton City Council yesterday.
The group of 65 students and several staff from Saitama Junior High School were hosted by Hamilton Mayor Andrew King in the Council Chambers, where they met a group of Councillors, exchanged gifts, and enjoyed refreshments.
“The Saitama sister city relationship is an important one for Hamilton, and we enjoy the opportunity to introduce some of that city’s young citizens to Hamilton and Council,” Mayor King says.
“It gives them an understanding of our city, our region, and our culture.”
The group’s visit to Hamilton is part of an ongoing cultural exchange with Hamilton’s Melville Intermediate School. The students are hosted by Melville Intermediate families, and as well as taking part in school events, they visit council and take in some of Hamilton and Waikato’s best tourist spots.
Hamilton has had a sister city relationship with Saitama in Japan for more than 30 years. It is the oldest such relationship, having begun in 1984 when the city was known as Urawa. Hamilton also has sister city relationships with Wuxi and Chengdu in China and Sacramento in the USA.