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【SDG 17】New Taipei City's post-pandemic international exchanges quickly recover as 2023 starts a bumper year


New Taipei City is an epitome of Taiwan, with a population of 4 million people creating a wealth of urban public diplomacy. Despite the epidemic’s impact over the past few years, physical and online exchanges continued unabated. From 2019 to 2022, the New Taipei City Secretariat organized and participated in 55 international diplomatic forums and interacted with 381 cities. The international community continues learning from each other, especially regarding the UN SDGs, allowing New Taipei City heightened visibility, while also promoting cooperation with ever more cities.

Although physical exchanges declined over the last two years, this year (2023) has witnessed their rapid restoration. Considering Japan as an example, on January 11, the Pingxi Coal Mine Museum in New Taipei City, and the Kushiro City Museum in Hokkaido, Japan, became sister museums. On January 17, the city government team received a delegation of parliamentarians from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and on February 7, Xindian District signed a memorandum of friendly exchange with Yasugi City, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. On February 11, the PingXi Sky Lantern Festival also invited Mr. Izumi Hiroyasu, Representative of Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, and other diplomats and representatives from 29 countries in Taiwan to participate in the event. The festival accords a great opportunity for New Taipei City to interact closely with international cities and forge deeper friendships.
Japanese media reports on New Taipei City and Japan establishing a friendship museum

The New Taipei City Pingxi Coal Mine Museum Park and the Kushiro City Museum in Hokkaido, Japan, signed a Friendly Museum Agreement on January 11. Both parties hope to enhance preservation of coal mining culture among Taiwan and Japan, and expand diversified international exchanges in culture, education and tourism. Beside the keen participation from the Japanese stakeholders, this cooperation also attracted attention from Japanese media, including Hokkaido News and Kushiro News.

# SDG 11.4 Protect the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
Japanese Parliamentary Delegation Visits New Taipei City focusing on Gender Equality, Agriculture and Sustainable Cooperation

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition party, was invited by the Asia Pacific Youth Association's Japan Political Observation Office to send five young members of the Diet – Aoyama Yamato, Genma Kentarou, Nakatani Kazuma, Yamada Katsuhiko and Shiomura Ayaka – who visited Taiwan from January 15 to 18. On January 17, the delegation met with Liou Her-Ran, Vice Mayor of New Taipei City, and was joined by Chiang I-Chen, a New Taipei City Councilor, along with the Municipal Secretariat and Youth Department. The two sides recalled the long-standing friendly interaction between Taiwan and Japan. Member Nakatani's hometown, Kanagawa Prefecture, is a "sister council" with New Taipei City, and both cities are leading domestic pioneers of the SDGs, making for very enthusiastic interlocution.

# SDG 5.5 Women in Politics
# SDG 2.3 Increasing income for Small-Scale food Producers
# SDG 11 Sustainable Cities
Xindian and Yasugi signed a city MOU for friendship and exchange to the accompaniment of the Japanese traditional loach dance Dojou-sukui

On February 7, 2011, Xindian District and Yasugi City, Shimane Prefecture, Japan, held a ceremony to sign the "Friendship Exchange City MOU", which will expand cooperation across industry, tourism, education, culture and the arts. During the ceremony, the mayor of Yasugi personally dressed up and performed a Japanese cultural heritage "Yasugibushi Dojou-sukui" or Loach Catching Dance, to commemorate the blossoming of the friendship between the two cities.

# SDG 17.16 Multilateral Cooperation
2023 New Taipei Lantern Festival International Lantern Area Expanded to include Tokyo Tokyo Special Lantern Debut

The 2023 New Taipei Lantern Festival, opened during the annual Spring Festival, and invited nine Japanese prefectures and cities to join the International Lantern Area. Tokyo Tokyo, a first-time exhibitor, decorated a stylish birdhouse with blue and white lanterns under the Tokyo Tokyo tourist brand. In addition, Higashikawa, Hokkaido, invited internationally renowned architect Kuma Kengo to present in the 2023 New Taipei Lantern Festival. Kuma designed the "Mt. Asahi" lantern to showcase the charm of Hokkaido's highest peak.

# SDG 8.9 Promoting sustainable development of the tourism industry
PingXi Sky Lantern Festival displays 20-foot heart-shaped double main lanterns expressing blessings for Türkiye from all the foreign missions in Taiwan

Mayor Hou Yu-Ih (侯友宜) of New Taipei City, Mayor Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) of Taipei City, Mayor Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) of Keelung City and Mayor Chang San-cheng (張善政) of Taoyuan City, together with the ambassadors of Belize, the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, Paraguay, St. Lucia, and Guatemala, attended the 2023 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival and jointly release the 20-foot heart-shaped double main sky lantern. Mayor Hou prayed for Türkiye through the sky lanterns, wishing for smooth and safe disaster relief efforts, and the earliest reconstruction of their homeland. A total of 250 VIPs, including diplomats from 29 countries across 6 continents and representatives from 3 chambers of commerce, visited the old streets of Pingxi and released the sky lanterns adorned with messages and blessings, jointly witnessing the beauty of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in New Taipei.

# SDG 17 Partnerships
# SDG 11.4 Protect the World Cultural and Natural Heritage

Competent Authority: New Taipei City Government × Foreign Missions in Taiwan × International Cities

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