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Nagaokakyo of Japan
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Nagaokakyo, the capital city of Japan's Kyoto Prefecture, is a small city full of scenic beauty. It is located in the southwest of the Kyoto Basin. It neighbors Kyoto in the east, joins Konichi city in the north, borders Da Yama Zakityo in the south and is adjacent to the Osaka Prefecture in the west. It covers an area of 20 sq kms with a population of 77,000. The city tree is maple, city flower the azalea and city bird the white-eyed bird. Two rivers respectively named the Kosen and the Kokawa flow through the city. The bamboo forests and the green Nishi Hills are the city's major landscapes.

Nagaokakyo has a warm temperature with hardly any snow in winter. Azalea and cherry blossoms in spring and chrysanthemum and maple leaves are the main attractions in fall.

People of Nagaokakyo take great pride in its long history. In 784 Japanese Emperor Kan Take moved the capital from Nara to Nagaokakyo, making it the political, economic and cultural center of Japan at that time. In Japanese "kyo" mean capital. Ten years later the capital was moved to Kyoto and Nagaokakyo again turns back into a rural area producing rice, bamboo shoots and vegetables. After 1925, with the fast development of Japan's economy, Nagaokakyo gradually became a residential area of Kyoto and Osaka and the population grew tremendously with the prosperity of the economy. In 1972 the Nagaokakyo municipality was established. 

Nagaokakyo owns a sound communications system. Superhighway and the new railway line go through the city. Easy transport and all kinds of preferential policies attract many big companies to set up factories in the city. For example, Mitsubishi Electrics Kyoto Production produces video recorders and picture tubes; Panasonic Electronics Nagaokakyo Plant produces electronic chips; Sandoli produces beer, etc. Some companies are even headquartered in Nagaokakyo, such as Nippon Transporter Corporation (specializing in forklift production). There are also a lot of medium and small-sized enterprises.

Nagaokakyo makes use of the spare land in the suburban area to develop agriculture with suburban features. The main produces are bamboo shoots, eggplants and rape. Sightseeing agriculture has also been promoted.

There are three large supermarkets and a variety of retailers' shops in the city. In 1979 a business cultural society was built which facilitates the development of Nagaokakyo's businesses.

Nagaokakyo has also seen fast development in education, sports, culture and social welfare. There are two short-period universities, 16 middle and primary schools in the city, with about 14,000 students. There are also many cultural, educational and recreational facilities such as cultural societies, libraries, educational centers and gymnasiums. Its history of being Japan's capital left it with a lot of historical relics.

Exchanges between Ningbo and Nagaokakyo

Since the establishment of sister-city relationship with Nagaokakyo, Ningbo has seen some development in its exchanges with the latter in economy, technology, culture and sports. So far Nagaokakyo has sent 40 delegations of 584 person times to Ningbo; Ningbo has sent 31 delegations of 252 person times to Nagaokakyo. Ningbo has also sent trainees to Nagaokakyo for 7 times with altogether 51 person times.

1. Economy and Technology

The economic exchanges and cooperation between the two cities mainly include mutual visits, technological cooperation and personnel training. According to statistics, 9 delegations of Nagaokakyo's entrepreneurs with a total of 74 people have visited Ningbo. Ningbo has sent 4 delegations of entrepreneurs with a total of 26 people to Nagaokakyo. Enterprises of the two cities have cooperated successfully in the development of the DC device of the dual TV sound accompaniment decoder and the digital control system of precision moulding grinder.

2. Personnel training

Ningbo has sent to Nagaokakyo trainees 7 times with a total of 51 people. Of them, 14 are medical trainees and 37 are industrial trainees including 28 in mechanics and 9 in electronics. Most of the trainees became the backbone technicians of their units after they returned home. Some of them have continued with the study of Japanese and worked for the development of the exchanges between the two cities.

3. Culture

I. Photography

A. Between April 15 and 24 of 1988, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the sister-city relation between Ningbo and Nagaokakyo, a Nagaokakyo delegation headed by Mayor Gojyu Xyu Tatsunan visited Ningbo. They held a photography exhibition in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the establishment of sister-city relation between Ningbo and Nagaokakyo. Dozens of photos that reflected the landscapes and local customs of Nagaokakyo were diplayed and welcomed by Ningbo citizens.

B. Between November 16 and 24, a Ningbo delegation of 6 members headed by Vice Chairman of the People's Congress Zhang Limuo visited Nagaokakyo. They held a Ningbo photography exhibition. A total of 70 photos that introduced Ningbo's reform and opening up, economic achievements, local customs and landscapes were displayed.

II. Calligraphy

Between August 18 and 26 1987, Vice Mayor of Nagaokakyo Maeda Teranan brought a youth friendship delegation of 16 members to Ningbo and participated in the calligraphy exchange activities organized by Ningbo Calligraphy Association. Between May 3 and 23, 1989, Ningbo held the Second Youth Festival, during which Nagaokakyo sent some art and calligraphy works to participate in the China and Foreign Youth's Art Show.

III. Cultural Relics

On November 29 1987, at the invitation of Nagaokakyo, Ningbo Historical Relics Group attended a world historic metropolis fair in Kyoto and exhibited dozens of pictures and models that reflect Ningbo's places of historical interest and local customs.

III. Horticulture

A. On the tenth anniversary of the establishment of sister-city relation between the two cities, Nagaokakyo expressed the intention to build a lotus pond in Nagaokakyo to commemorate the two cities' friendship and asked Ningbo to provide it with seeds and knowledge. Ningbo gave Nagaokakyo 150 plants of West Lake red lotus and sent on March 26 1996 a horticulturist to Nagaokakyo as instructor. The lotus bloomed the very same year and Nagaokakyo sent pictures to Ningbo to mark the event.

B. Nagaokakyo donated 4 million yen to cooperate with Ningbo in building a garden of Japanese style in Ningbo to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of sister-city relation between the two cities. Through the design and efforts of experts and constructors from both sides, the Sino-Japanese Friendship Garden was finished in October 1997.

4. Sports
I. Between August 7 and September 3 1987, at Ningbo's invitation, Nagaokakyo's junior amateur badminton player Ton O come to Hanzhou Sports Team for training.

II. Between November 26 and December 1, 1990, Nakajima, Director of Nagaokakyo's Chairman of Table Tennis Association, headed a table tennis team to China and teamed up with Ningbo team to participate a friendship tournament of Sino-Japanese sister cities.

III. Between July 29 and August 5 1992, a Ningbo junior badminton delegation headed by Ningbo government advisor Mou Gaowang visited Nagaokakyo and participated a west Japanese junior badminton tournament.

IV. Between August 7 and 12 1992, Nagaokakyo Vice Mayor Gan Giji led a junior delegation of 20 members to Ningbo. Some of the members were volleyball players and they played with Ningbo players.

V. Between August 26 and September 11 1994 a seven-member Nagaokakyo motorcyclists team visited Ningbo and rode hundreds of kilometers in Ningbo. In October 1997, the chairman and vice-chairman of Nagaokakyo's Motorcyclists' Association visited Ningbo to discuss exchange issues with their Ningbo counterparts.

VI. Between August 12 and 18, Nagaokakyo Shadow-boxing Association sent a delegation of 14 members to Ningbo to watch the performance of Ningbo Martial-arts Association and carried out exchanges with Ningbo Shadow-boxing Association. In March 1997 at the invitation of Nagaokakyo Shadow-boxing Association, Chairman of Ningbo Martial-arts Association, Chairman of Ningbo Shadow-boxing Association and State First Grade Martial-arts Referee Cai Tianbiao visited Nagaokakyo for ten days during which he trained and instructed referees and shadow-boxing enthusiasts from Nagaokakyo and its neighboring areas and won their high opinions.  

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