The sister city relationship between Dagupan City and Iwata, Japan ushered in a new phase of relations after Iwata City officials visited Mayor Benjamin Lim anew on September 13 to discuss the possibility of economic, cultural and educational exchanges.
”They came to Dagupan not only to renew ties but to discuss the possibility of exchanges between businessmen, Rotary clubs and student exchanges,” said Mayor Lim.
Lim noted that the sister city relationship between Dagupan and Iwata almost disappeared after the Marcos regime.
He further added that the bilateral relations entered in a new era after the city government of Iwata invited Mayor Lim along with five high school students to attend the celebration of their 30th anniversary of sisterhood ties on July 27 to 30 this year.
It was learned that Lim invited the presidents and past presidents of various Rotary Clubs based in the city to join the discussion that is expected to include their involvement in the establishment of a business partnership between the two cities.
The bilateral talks dwelled on the interest of both cities to establish a study exchange program for high school students.
Both cities agreed to study thoroughly the planned educational exchange program before deciding on its eventual approval.
Lim said that once approved, the qualified high school Dagupeño students will be sent to Iwata during their school vacation period from April to May.
“Just like the Milpitas study exchange program, this is another venue for the Dagupeño students to observe the academic environment and educational system of Japan as well as experience the culture of Japanese students,” Lim stressed.
The Japanese officials informed Lim that they have already visited Dagupan City five years ago. (Leziel T. Cayabyab)