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Sendai Mayor in Tainan for 10th Anniversary as Friendship Cities


This year marks the 10th anniversary of Tainan City and Sendai City forming a friendship city relationship. On August 21st and 22nd, Ms. Emiko Okuyama, Mayor of Sendai City, paid a special visit to Tainan and received a warm welcome from Mayor William Lai and the Tainan City Government.  


Tainan City and Sendai City have interacted closely in the realms of culture, tourism and education since becoming friendship cities in 2006. In the past decade, both cities have been through hard times, and have given each other strong support when either has needed it. After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Mayor Lai hurriedly arranged a visit to Sendai to show solidarity with the city and deliver donations from Tainan residents. When Tainan was struck by a strong earthquake on February 6th this year, causing many deaths and injuries, Mayor Okuyama immediately sent a message of concern and support, and the people of Sendai donated very generously to a collection for post-quake relief and recovery in Tainan.


On August 21st, Mayor Lai took Mayor Okuyama and her team to view the Tainan-Sendai Friendship City 10th Anniversary Memorial Exhibition in the former Patriotic Women Hall. The exhibition introduces Sendai City and its locally flavored traditional celebration of the Tanabata Festival on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. It also presents a record of the interaction between Tainan and Sendai during the past 10 years. In addition to providing a pair of traditional bamboo decorations for the exhibition, Sendai also sent two professional craftsmen to Tainan to give classes on making the decorations. Students from Tainan’s Kunshan Elementary School, in the area hardest hit by the February earthquake, were also invited to join the class.


On her second day in Tainan, Mayor Okuyama visited Tainan City Hall for a meeting with Mayor Lai, and received a rousing welcome from city government staff. The two mayors talked about the diverse connections and friendly feelings formed between Tainan and Sendai in the preceding ten years. Both said they looked forward to building on the firm ties already established between the two cities, and hoped to forge an even closer city-to-city relationship in the decade ahead.