Current Status of Interchange between Both Sides
On August 22, 2009, Itoigawa Geopark was officially certified as one of the first global geoparks in Japan. Ms. Dai Mo-fan, a former foreign-language specialist in Yushan National Park Headquarters, was invited by her relative Ms. Dai Yin-yi living in Japan to attend the city's geopark founding activities. During her visit, she introduced Yushan National Park through interviews with the local media and brought the first impression of Yushan to the Itoigawa City government and the public.
Ms. Dai Yin-yi became aware of how the former director of YSNP, Chen Lung-sheng, has been keen to promote Yushan internationally and establish an exchange with Itoigawa. Ms. Dai Yin-yi felt that an exchange between the two parks would represent a major breakthrough for the YSNP Administration on the international exchange efforts. For Taiwanese people living in Itoigawa, it would also be a good opportunity to see the Itoigawa people learning more about Taiwan. After much negotiation, with the support from Itoigawa City councilor Ito Fumihiro and Ito Hakiko from the Itoigawa International Support Association, we were glad to see the two parks finally start the interchange with each other.
●During April 9 to 12, 2010, the vice mayor of Itoigawa City, Honma Masakazu, led the delegation to attend the 25th anniversary celebration of YSNP Headquarters. The delegation visited the park, had a meeting with the YSNP administration, and exchanged management experiences with each other.
◎Vice mayor of Itoigawa, Honma Masakazu, reached the summit of Linjhih Mountain in YSNP.(Left)
◎Vice mayor of Itoigawa, Honma Masakazu, had a meeting with the YSNP administration.(Right)
●During August 21 to 24, 2010, the Ex-director of YSNP Headquarters, Chen Lung-sheng, led the delegation to visit Itoigawa City in Japan. They attended the International UNESCO Conference on Geoparks in Japan, joined a meeting in which the two sides shared and exchanged valuable experiences and opinions, and the Conference of Chinese Juniper and Shimpaku Juniper. The delegation also visited the geopark. The Ex-director presented the gift, "the poem of jade (玉懷石緣)," to the Itoigawa City Government.
◎Ex-director Chen paid a visit to an exhibition of potted Shimpaku Juniper.(Left)
◎Ex-director Chen Lung-sheng had a meeting with Mayor Yoneda, sharing and exchanging valuable experiences and opinions with each other. (Right)
◎The Poem of Jade (玉懷石緣) (Left)
◎The delegation paid a visit to the biggest piece of jadeite rough in the world, weighing 120 tons.(Right)
●After the 3/11 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Itoigawa Geopark accommodated nearly 6,000 victims, mainly from Minamisoma City. Yushan National Park Headquarters sent a condolence card, and paid much effort in contacting Buddha's Light International Association and the NGO International Affairs Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, R.O.C. in order to help. In early April, a large number of relief supplies arrived in Itoigawa City. To express his gratitude, Mayor Yoneda of Itoigawa sent a thank-you note in his own handwriting to YSNP Headquarters.
◎A large number of relief supplies arrived in Itoigawa City.(Left)
◎Yushan National Park Headquarters sent a condolence card.(Right)
Prospects for the Future
In the future, we'd like to strengthen the relationship between Yushan National Park and Itoigawa Geopark by visiting annually and by participating in important events held by both sides. Our eventual goal is to sign a mutual cooperation agreement between each other..
Itoigawa, Niigata Prefecture in Japan City Hall, City Hall copyright