Miyakonojō is a city situated at the center of southern Miyakonojō Basin in Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan, with an area of 653.8 square kilometers and a population of 166,000. Lying between Miyazaki Prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture, Miyakonojō enjoys convenient transportation and serves as the industrial and cultural center of Southern Kyushu.
As an agricultural city, it is an important production base for Japanese beef, the meat of small fowls, and pork. Its tea and distilled liquor made from groundwater are well-known in Japan.
Traditional handicrafts in Miyakonojō are developed and various handicraft works are exquisite and unique, which are famous in Japan. Longbows and wooden knives produced in the city account for 90% of Japan’s total. Its furniture with folk art style is unique and popular with the Japanese. Other handicraft works such as pottery, necklaces, brooches, collar clips, and textiles also enjoy great popularity.
Miyakonojō also boasts a beautiful environment and wonderful natural scenery. It has made a vow that the population, the city, and the natural environment will be developed in harmony and that the city will be built into a place with a comfortable natural environment, people with health and longevity, a strong atmosphere of international development in the era, developed culture and education, and a long history and profound culture.
In November 1999, Jiangjin District formed sister city relations with Miyakonojō.
Exchanges between Jiangjin-Miyakonojō
In 1940, Marshal Nie Rongzhen saved a Japanese little girl in the Hundred-Regiment Campaign. Later, Jiangjin formed sister city relations with Miyakonojō, the hometown of the girl, realizing the wish of Nie Rongzhen. With the vigorous support of Marshal Nie’s daughter General Nie Li, the positive efforts of Jiangjin, and the guidance of Chongqing Government Foreign Affairs Office, on November 18, 1999, Jiangjin officially established sister-city relations with Miyakonojō. In 2009, the two sides signed the Agreement on the Promotion of Friendly Cooperation and Exchange, which proposed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of industry, economy, culture, education, and tourism, and to strive to promote mutual exchanges between young people of both sides, so as to deepen mutual understanding and friendship between people of the two sides.
Over the past 17 years, the governments and non-governmental friendship associations of both sides have sent 17 visiting delegations to each other, with the total number of visitors reaching more than 300. They have participated in exchange visits at important time nodes, including the 10th anniversary of the promotion of Jiangjin County to a city, the 80th anniversary of the establishment of Miyakonojo as a city, and the 10th and 15th anniversaries of the conclusion of friendship. The former Mayors of Miyakonojo Makoto Nagamine and the present Mayor Takahisa Ikeda have successively led their delegations to Jiangjin for visits.
Educational Exchanges In October 2000, Jiangjin District signed an agreement with Miyakonojo, adopting a decision to hold the activities of China-Japan Friendship Summer Camp for Secondary School Students in both cities on a rotating basis. These activities included cultural and recreational performances, talent shows, outdoor activities, and field trips. From the summer vacation of 2001, the activities were held alternately in Jiangjin and Miyakonojo; as of 2013, a total of nine sessions had been held and four sessions were in Jiangjin, with more than 100 direct participants.
Cultural Exchange The two sides successively held the “Chinese Marshal Nie Rongzhen and Jiangjin, Chongqing Exhibition (2001)”, the Jiangjin-Miyakonojo Marshal Nie Rongzhen Humanitarian Spirit and Friendship Exchange Seminar (2002), the Celebration Event for 10th Anniversary of Establishment of Jiangjin-Miyakonojo Friendship (2009), and the Jiangjin-Miyakonojo Marshal Nie Rongzhen Humanitarian Spirit and Friendship Exchange Seminar (2009) in Jiangjin and Miyakonojo. In 2009, Jiangjin and Miyakonojo jointly released the Photo Book in Memory of the 10th Anniversary of the Sister City Relationship. Together with Miyakonojo, Jiangjin District also launched a China-Japan cooperation campaign for the greening of the Yangtze River, which was themed “Greening the Earth and Protecting the Yangtze River”. The campaign was carried out 24 times in Zhongdu Village, Caoba Village, Zhuanshanping Village, Shengquan Village, Sanhe Village, and Zhenwu Village of Degan Subdistrict, Jiangjin District. Thanks to it, 600,000 trees were planted, covering an area of about 578 hectares.
Reciprocal visits and exchanges. On May 23, 2018, the President of the Miyakonojo City Council of Japan, led a delegation to visit Jiangjin. From November 22 to 26, 2019, Mr. Shi Shilong, Director of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of Jiangjin District, led a delegation to attend an event held in Miyakonojo, Japan to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the sister city friendship upon invitation.
Other exchanges In April 2020, a letter of condolence was sent from Jiangjin District to Miyakonojo. In it, the officials of Jiangjin District expressed their concerns about the prevention and control of COVID-19 in Miyakonojo, hoping that the other side would overcome the pandemic soon. Officials of the Miyakonojo government received the letter and showed their gratitude.