THE planting of a tecoma tree (Tabebuia Rosea) at D.R. Seenivasagam Park symbolises the long and special relationship between Ipoh and Fukuoka as sister cities.
The tree-planting ceremony was held at the Japanese Garden, located in the park, by Ipoh Datuk Bandar Datuk Ahmad Suaidi Abdul Rahim and Fukuoka mayor Takashima Soichiro in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the sister city programme.
Takashima and his delegation from Japan were in Ipoh for a three-day visit earlier this month.
Following the ceremony, Ahmad Suaidi, Takashima and the guests took a tour around the garden.
Ahmad said the garden, established on June 30,1995, was a collaboration between the two cities.
He said the 1.2ha garden was similar to the Japanese Garden in Fukuoka.
“It is a joint effort between Ipoh City Council and Fukuoka City Government.
“Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu was in Fukuoka in April where he signed a memorandum of understanding with them on overseeing and maintaining the garden, ” he said.
“During the visit, they also discussed how to build a stronger relationship between the two cities and Fukuoka 100; a comprehensive model focusing on the livelihood of senior citizens.
“Other topics that were discussed include a tertiary students exchange programme and a short-term civil officers exchange programme, ” Ahmad Suaidi added.
The sister city programme between Ipoh and Fukuoka was launched on March 21,1989, by then Ipoh Datuk Bandar Datuk Umar Abu and former Fukuoka mayor Keiichi Kuwahara.
Through the partnership, both cities have launched several programmes including the Asia-Pacific Children Convention, Sister Cities Student Exchange and a technical programme under the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
During the visit, the delegation from Fukuoka were treated to a cultural performance at the Movie Animation Parks Studio, a visit to Banjaran Hotspring Resort and an anniversary gala dinner.
Takashima and his delegation also visited Ahmad Faizal at the state secretariat building to discuss investment opportunities.
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