New Delhi, Nov 20 (PTI) The friendship agreement between Delhi and the Japanese city of Fukuoka was extended for another three years on Monday, with emphasis on cooperation in environment, art, culture and education, a city government statement said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Fukuoka Prefectural Government Vice Governor Akie Omagari signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during a ceremony commemorating the 15th anniversary of the 'twinning' agreement.
Omagari thanked Kejriwal for extending the agreement till March 2026, it said.
"This agreement not only fills the gap between the two cities but also connects them spiritually and culturally. It will promote various opportunities in health, education, and other sectors alongside environment," Kejriwal said.
Environmental pollution is a serious issue, everyone must come together to find solutions, Omagari said at the MoU signing ceremony.
"We're strongly requesting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to visit Fukuoka and our Governor Seitaro Hattori is looking forward to meeting you," the statement quoted her as saying.
A 35-member delegation from the Fukuoka Prefectural Government arrived at the Delhi Secretariat to meet Kejriwal. The delegation is on a visit to the national capital to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 'twinning' agreement.
The agreement, first signed on March 5, 2007, has been extended until March 31, 2026.
Over the past 15 years, both the cities have engaged in various activities in art and cultural exchanges, environmental technology and student/youth exchange programmes, the statement said.
"Our friendship agreement of the last 15 years has brought both the cities closer by way of mutual cooperation and exchanges and benefits, especially in the fields of environment, art and culture, archaeology and recently in the field of education," Kejriwal said.
The Delhi government believes that increased cooperation will further harness the potential in the spheres of environment, which has been a major concern, and also in health, education and other areas by way of more mutual exchanges, he said.
Delhi Urban Development Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said the agreement has been strengthened for a further three years, beginning from April 1, 2023 till March 31, 2026.
Omagari said in the field of environment, 24 experts have so far visited from Fukuoka and they have also gone through a training programme.
"For decarbonisation and the improvement of the environment ... if we can do something together, that will be very much delightful for us," she said.
In March, an education delegation from the Fukuoka Prefectural Government visited Delhi for collaboration on the exchanges. In September, there was an agreement for the online exchange of students between two schools of the Delhi government and the Fukuoka Government, she said.
"The education boards of both the governments have entered into a cooperation and we are expecting good results out of that," she added. PTI VIT SZM