The Japanese government through its consulate in Medan, North Sumatra, is exploring sister city cooperation between Banda Aceh and a number of cities in that country.
The plan on the sister city cooperation was revealed by Japanese Consul General in Medan, Daiki Yokoyama, here, Thursday.
“We are exploring a sister city cooperation between Banda Aceh and several cities in Japan,” Yokoyama said, adding that the cooperation is expected to further strengthen the relationship between Indonesia and Japan.
According to Yokoyama, one of the cities that might fit with Banda Aceh is Mano Town, located on Sado island in Nigata Prefecture.
“Mano Town is a coastal area and the tourism sector is quite developing. If cooperation is established certainly a lot of things can be done,” Yokoyama said.
In addition to exploring sister city cooperation, Daiki Yokoyama also offered a financial grant from the Japanese government for physical projects such as building schools, drug rehabilitation centers, water facilities, and procuring ambulances.
The city administration secretary of Banda Aceh, Bahagia, said the twin city cooperation will benefit both parties. “We are interested in this cooperation, particularly in water management, transport, and environment-based development as well as smart city,” Bahagia said.
Bahagia added that Banda Aceh also has twin city relations with Higashimatsushima, Japan; Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, and Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
“The cooperation with Higashimatsushima was mainly established in the field of disaster management as the two cities have been hit by tsunami, besides cooperation in economic empowerment,” Bahagia said.