According to Sister Cities International, a Sister City Relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two countries. In Japan, the government agency in-charge of these relationships is CLAIR (founded in 1988) or the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations. Alright, but what are sister cities for exactly? Historically speaking, the concept was established during the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower to help re-establish diplomatic ties among nation states ravaged by World War II.
Many communities around the world have latched on to the idea and embraced their newfound siblings across oceans and continents. In the Philippines for example, several townships and municipalities have established sister city relationships with Japanese towns where their leaders (at the time) were former army soldiers stationed in their respective twin cities in the Philippines. In fact, the relationship between Gonohe and Bayombong is a prime example of this phenomenon. To learn more about our story Click Here.
Nowadays, sister city associations have other roles ranging from business collaborations, cultural exchange, and educational or academic development projects. The fact that there are thousands of active exchange associations across the globe shows that diplomacy isn’t an activity solely delegated to national governments. Let’s hope that associations and organisations like these grow and prosper in the coming years.