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A New Chapter for Trilateral Collaborations: Tainan City Signs MOU with Aomori Prefecture and Hirosaki City


Acting Tainan City Mayor Li Men-yen signed a MOU with Aomori Prefecture Governor Mimura Shingo and Hirosaki City Mayor Kasai Noriyuki on Dec 4, 2017 at Fujita Memorial Garden in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture. This MOU is expected to encourage more exchanges and collaborations in agriculture, tourism, culture, and sports; and consequently bring prosperity to the three areas.

During his remarks, Acting Mayor Li expressed that he is pleased to have the opportunity to visit Aomori Prefecture and Hirosaki City and to sign this MOU on behalf of Tainan. Aomori Prefecture, Hirosaki City, and Tainan City are all major agriculture areas and have maintained frequent exchanges with each other. By signing this trilateral MOU, he hopes to see more interactions and city governance experience exchanges. Li also shared an anecdote which he believes that implies the three areas were long destined to work together: another English name for Tainan’s Irwin mangoes is “apple mango”, which combines the main produce of Aomori Prefecture and Hirosaki City – apples - with Tainan’s mangoes. 
Aomori Prefecture Governor Mimura Shingo praised the city atmosphere of Tainan, describing it as a city that integrates the old with the new. Tainan is home to kind and welcoming people and has strong relations with Japan. Mimura also mentioned his visit to Tainan many years ago during which he promoted apples from Aomori. He met and had discussions with former Tainan Mayor Lai and that led to more collaboration between the two areas. Mimura expressed that he will continue to support the interactions and maintain the friendship between the three areas, and would also like to encourage more residents in Aomori Prefecture to visit Tainan. 
Hirosaki City Mayor Kasai Noriyuki remarked that in 2011, through the introduction of Governor Mimura Shingo, Tainan and Hirosaki began to export mangoes and apples to the other city to increase the export volume of respective local fruits. In addition to fruit exports, the two cities now have exchanges in other industries such as local produce and products, tourism and education. The two cities have been looking forward to this trilateral MOU signing since 2015 and hopefully this will promote more exchanges among the three areas in the following years. 
Located on Japan’s main island, Aomori Prefecture has abundant natural tourism resources. It is also a major agriculture prefecture and the largest production area of apples, burdock, and garlic in Japan. Hirosaki City is the third largest city in Aomori Prefecture and has the highest annual production volume of apples in Japan. The interaction between Aomori Prefecture, Hirosaki City, and Tainan City began with the marketing of respective local produce, and later representatives from the three areas would regularly visit each other. Last year after the February 6th Earthquake in Tainan, Aomori Prefecture and Hirosaki City were among the first to send their condolences. When former Tainan Mayor Lai was in office, he began to facilitate the signing of MOU and now it has finally come to fruition. In the future, the three parties will continue to collaborate and facilitate more interactions among the residents.