The twinning of 2 great castles in north Wales and Japan
The official twinning ceremony for Himeji Castle and Conwy Castle will take place today at Himeji.
The first step towards the twinning of the 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites was taken in July 2018 when the Mayor of Himeji visited north Wales and joined the Mayor of Conwy to sign a Memorandum of Understanding — the first of its kind in the UK. A delegation from Conwy will today attend an official ceremony in Himeji and sign a Co-operation Agreement to seal the twinning process.
On Monday evening, the walls of Conwy Castle will be lit up with a projection of the words Conwy + Himeji in celebration of the twinning.
The aim of the twinning is to - promote sustainable tourism at both sites; use educational projects to promote knowledge about the castles, their histories and the communities around them; and to exchange skills and expertise through joint cultural and sporting activities.
The Welsh Government and Cadw have supported the proposal and Cadw have produced a special Japanese version of the Conwy Castle guidebook to mark the development.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said:
This is the first memorandum of understanding of its kind in the UK – the twinning of such great castles is an excellent way celebrate our differences and deepen our cultural understanding. Following the welcome and interest in Wales from our Japanese friends during the Rugby World Cup, this twinning will further reinforce our friendship as well as enhance business, tourism and cultural opportunities between our two countries.
This twinning builds on recent work by Welsh Government and industry partners to develop a strong relationship with the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) to present Wales as a tourism destination in the Japanese market.
Four years ago there were no JATA-member package tours to Wales, but following awards given to Conwy and North Wales in recent years, last year more than 4,000 Japanese tourists discovered the beauty and wonder of Wales on JATA package tours, with a focus on the North.
Jim Jones, North Wales Tourism, said:
This is just the beginning of a great and meaningful relationship between Conwy and Himeji. It's taken a lot of hard work by many people in both towns to get us to this point and now it's time to celebrate this very unique connection. We hope the profile of the twinning with Himeji will draw many Japanese visitors to Conwy, North Wales and Wales, and likewise, that it will inspire people from Wales to visit our Japanese friends. Businesses and residents in Conwy have been going the extra mile for our Japanese visitors, taking Japanese language lessons, creating a welcome video, and learning about Japanese culture, so visitors can experience an extra warm welcome in the town. We're very excited to see this relationship flourish over the coming years.
Eluned Haf, Head of Wales Arts International said:
Wales and Japan – 2 nations rooted in ancient traditions and alive with vibrant contemporary culture. Through the unique twinning of Conwy and Himeji castles, we are not only celebrating our heritages but, importantly, sharing cultures through our artists and communities. The performance at the twinning ceremony by Welsh musician and new Royal harpist Alis Huws begins new opportunities for arts and cultural exchanges between Conwy and Himeji and Wales and Japan. We are delighted that Ena Mai, the mascot for the Cymru|Wales- Japan cultural programme around the Rugby World Cup, will supporting the twinning.
Latest News from
Wales approves home abortions during Coronavirus crisis01/04/2020 16:05:00
Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced that women in Wales will have access to abortion services at home during the Coronavirus crisis.
Councils given emergency powers to support NHS with new field hospitals01/04/2020 14:05:00
Councils are being given new powers to support the NHS and increase hospital capacity as Wales responds to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds to be welcomed back to Wales’ health and social care workforce01/04/2020 11:05:00
The Health Minister Vaughan Gething has confirmed that hundreds of health and social care professionals will soon return to their previous careers to help tackle COVID-19.
Letter from Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams31/03/2020 14:05:00
Letter to Welsh Higher Education institutions – 27 March 2020.
New £500 million Economic Resilience Fund launched for Wales31/03/2020 11:05:00
First Minister Mark Drakeford yesterday announced a new £500 million fund to provide extra support to the Welsh economy, businesses and charities experiencing a sharp drop in trading as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
NHS staff to get free travel as part of £69m hardship fund deal for public transport31/03/2020 09:05:00
The Economy, Transport and North Wales Minister Ken Skates recently (29 March 2020) announced urgent measures to support public transport through the coronavirus pandemic.
Statement by the Chief Medical Officer for Wales on personal protection equipment30/03/2020 16:05:00
The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton, recently (28 March 2020) welcomed the announcement of a rapid review into personal protection equipment (PPE) guidance in the UK and updated the latest position in Wales.
New coronavirus smart test for Wales30/03/2020 15:28:00
Health Minister Vaughan Gething recently (28 March 2020) announced plans to introduce a smart test to identify if people have had coronavirus in Wales – helping them get back to work.
Multi-million pound boost to support volunteers and Wales’ most vulnerable30/03/2020 14:05:00
The Welsh Government recently (27 March 2020) announced an initial fund of £24 million to support Wales’ voluntary sector in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Education Minister asks ‘national heroes’ to keep schools open for NHS and carers during school holidays30/03/2020 13:28:00
Education Minister Kirsty Williams recently (Saturday, March 28) called on school staff to do what they can to keep schools open for NHS staff and carers during the two weeks that should have been the Easter holidays.