International Urban Cooperation JAPAN: 4th Exchange Meeting of the EU and Japanese Cities on 17 May 2019 in Tokyo, Japan


In the context of the IUC – Japan, the 4th Exchange Meeting of the EU and Japanese cities took place on 17 May in Tokyo, Japan.

The meeting was opened by Her Excellency Ms. Patricia Flor, Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Japan and Mr. Yoshihiro Seguchi, Deputy Director-General, City Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, praising the EU’s and Japan’s cooperation in general, as well as the progress of the cooperation in the context of IUC Japan in particular. In addition, Mr. Terry Ward, Director of Studies at Applica, held a presentation on “Demographic change, ageing and cities” where he outlined recent trends in population growth and development, particularly in Europe 2011-2017.

For the first five pairings established in 2017, it was the fourth opportunity to meet and discuss their cooperation as well as to present their results in relation to drafting the action plan. In this context, the results of their previous study tours were also presented. The city paring whose representatives held a presentation where those of

  1. The city of Donostia-San Sebastian and the city of Hirosaki.
  2. The city of Essen and the city of Koriyama
  3. The city of Frankfurt and city of Yokohama
  4. The city of Ioannina and city of Ichinomiya
  5. The city of Ancona and the city of Ikoma

Ms Sandra Marin from the IUC Methodological Task Force commented on the achievements of the city pairings and the drafting of their action plans so far. She also provided recommendations for the further elaboration of the action plans before their submission in the coming months.

Furthermore, each pairing joined in 2018 (i.e. the city of Bratislava and the city of Tokorozawa as well as the Grenoble-Alpes Metropole and the city of Toyota) presented the progress of their cooperation, focusing on shared objectives and (planned) activities including study tours already conducted or to be conducted. Also, the new pairing joined in 2019 made an introduction of their cities (the city of Marseille and the city of Kobe).

Prof. Hidefumi Imura, the Project Coordinator of IUC-Japan, expressed his satisfaction with the achievements of the IUC-Japan city pairings so far. He confirmed that all pairings conducted very good exchanges of ideas and concepts. The first cities that started their cooperation in 2017 are about to conclude their cooperation activities, but this should only mean an end to IUC but not their overall cooperation.

The three new city pairings are asked to further specify their cooperation objectives and to further elaborate the activities to be carried out to achieve the objectives. On 21 November 2019, the next meeting will take place in Brussels, Belgium, representing the next milestone of the project where the action plans will be presented.