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Sixteen Delegations From Cities In Japan, US, and Korea Visit Tainan City, Tainan Mayor Thanked The Guests For Attending The Taiwan Lantern Festival Lighting Ceremony

On the morning of February 25, 16 delegations from Japan, the US, and Korea met with Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che at the City Hall. The guests were here to attend the opening ceremony of the 2024 Taiwan Lantern Festival. Besides greeting each delegation and exchanging gifts, Mayor Huang expressed his sincerest gratitude to the foreign guests for visiting Tainan and showing support by being here in person.


The Mayor remarked that this Festival is the first national-level celebration of the Tainan 400 event series and the city is delighted to host the Festival again after 16 years. In addition to mentioning that about 850,000 people were at the lighting ceremony, the Mayor thanked the foreign guests for showing up at the Taiwan Lantern Festival lighting ceremony the previous night as their presence also demonstrates the achievements of Tainan’s city diplomacy. Huang hopes that citizens from all of these cities can know more about each other through exchanges and collaborations in culture, education, sports, industries, agriculture, and food, and enhance their friendship. Residents in Tainan were encouraged to visit our friendship cities as well.


There are more important events planned for Tainan this year (2024) and the city hopes to share our traditional cultures and festive joy with international friends through these exciting activities. In the second half of the year, Tainan is expected to host the Taiwan-Japan Exchange Summit, Creative Expo Taiwan, Taiwan Design Expo, and Nan Ying International Folklore Festival. The Mayor sincerely invited all to take part in the events.


Governor Tsugumasa Muraoka of Yamaguchi Prefecture spoke on behalf of the visiting delegations from 13 cities in Japan and thanked Taiwan for donating many resources after the 2024 Noto earthquake. He felt honored and excited to attend the lighting ceremony and was very happy to see Taiwanese people and friends from all over the world as well as the bright and beautiful lanterns and the elements of Japanese culture in the performance program. Muraoka expressed that he looks forward to having more exchanges with Tainan in various fields, such as culture, history, and sports, and moving forward together.


Mayor George Chen of the City of Torrance (US), specifically wore the Tainan orchid tie he received during his last visit and brought the Torrance City Council team with him. Chen expressed that he has a deep connection with Tainan as he has many relatives in the city and his father-in-law is also from Tainan. He is honored to have this opportunity to experience the diverse cultural features of Tainan. Besides congratulating Tainan on its 400 years, Chen remarked that at the Taiwan Lantern Festival, he deeply felt that the event not only lit up the starry night but also inspired more interactions between people.


Mayor Tony Wu of the City of West Covina, another Mayor from California, pointed out that he brought a professional delegation composed of his wife, city councilors, city managers, and legal advisors to Tainan to demonstrate the importance of Tainan to the city of West Covina. He enjoyed the beautiful Taiwan Lantern Festival and wishes to expand the export of Tainan agricultural and aquatic products to West Covina as the two cities are sister cities. In addition to introducing the beauty of Tainan's ancient capital culture to the citizens of West Covina, Wu also looks forward to strengthening exchanges in the fields of investment, education, agriculture, and student exchanges. West Covina City celebrated its 100 anniversary last year, but compared to Tainan's 400 years, it is still a very young city. Especially since Tainan is the birthplace of democracy fighters, there is much West Covina can learn from Tainan's experience.


Mayor Joo Nak-young of Gyeongju City (Korea) praised the Taiwan Light Festival he visited yesterday as a dazzling Tainan-themed feast of light that combined futuristic technology and traditional arts. Gyeongju City, which is Tainan’s 51st signatory city, shares many similarities with Tainan – both are the oldest city in Korea and Tainan, respectfully. Joo also mentioned that he was happy to meet Gyeongju and Tainan’s mutual friend - Nikkō city and have the opportunity to jointly congratulate Tainan’s Tainan 400 event and Taiwan Lantern Festival on their success!


A total of 16 city delegations participated in today’s joint visit, most of which are Tainan’s signatory cities or cities that are friendly and have interacted with Tainan for many years, including 13 cities in Japan (Yamaguchi Prefecture, Sendai City, Nikkō City, Fujinomiya City, Hirosaki City, Yamagata City, Kyoto City, Tsuchiura City, Naka City, Maebashi City, Minakami Town, Aomori Prefecture, Honjo City), 2 cities in the United States (Torrance City and West Covina City in California), and 1 city in South Korea (Gyeongju City).