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As Close Neighbors Separated by A Strip of Water, Japan and China Carry Out Exchange Regularly upon Long Standing Sino-Japanese Communication
Date:2018-08-31 By:Wu Yuqing Source:Foreign Affairs & Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Liuzhou
 From August 23 to 25, a friendly delegation of citizens led by Chiba Shigeru, Governor of Ami-cho, Ibaraki-ken, Japan, paid a friendly visit to Liuzhou. During the visit, the delegation visited Liuzhou’s schools, enterprises, museums and featured tourist towns, and expressed their wish to continue to deepen exchanges with us in economic, vocational education and social pension benefits, etc.

Cultural Exchange: In the Fine Strokes of Iron Pictures Hides a Refined Taste; In the Sky Roams a Dancing Crane Nimbly with Rhyme

    Since the establishment of friendly exchange relation between Liuzhou and Ami-cho in 1996, the two cities have been carrying out in-depth exchanges and cooperation activities in the fields of cultural education, agricultural research and study, and live-in exchange of students. Among the members of this delegation, there were three students of second grade from the Asahi Middle School of Ami-cho who, in Huxi Middle School, appreciated the calligraphy and painting works created by students of Huxi Middle School when participating in activities organized by the Calligraphy and Painting Association, as well as traditional Chinese dancing and folk musical instrument playing performances. This scene made Shimizu Miyu, a student with Japanese calligraphy learning experience, show her own calligraphy works gladly to students and teachers of Huxi Middle School.  

Food Exchange: Taste Meticulously Produced Cakes of Family Inheritance, Savor Classical Essence of Pastries in the Southland

    As the saying goes, food is god for the people. The delegation visited two pastry enterprises, Helena and Jinguilou in Liuzhou. At Helena's headquarters, members of the delegation watched the process of pastry production with advanced technical equipment made in Germany and Sweden, etc., and learned that after many years of hard work, " Helena” has become a well-known brand in Liuzhou baking industry, and its products have been enriched from previously single bread for sale to now involving moon cakes, birthday cakes and breads, etc. Finally, members of the delegation tasted various exquisite pastries made with modern techniques, and as it was near the Mid-Autumn Festival, they also ate freshly baked moon cakes in addition to various western-style cakes and pastries.  

   In front of the Jinguilou Gui Cake Museum, members of the delegation were very excited to find the large cake mold and stopped one after another to take a picture with it while asking with interest the method of usage. Through the introduction of Mr. Xue Chunxiong of the Jinguilou Gui Cake Museum, members of the delegation exactly learned about the history and inheritance of Gui cakes and carefully visited various cake molds displayed in the Museum, some of which were family cake seals left down by Xue Chunxiong’s forefathers, or treasures obtained through the whole team’s tireless efforts to go through hardships and visit old carving handicraftsmen, or collections donated by peers of the cake industry moved by their spirit. In the end, members of the delegation used such cake molds to diy various moon cakes with their personal characteristics, actually having a real experience of traditional Chinese pastry culture.  

    In the Museum of Liuzhou River Snails Rice Noodle, a "web celebrity” in recent years, members of the delegation said that they were so glad to come to the Town of River Snails Rice Noodle, they hoped to learn more about the culture of river snails rice noodle through this museum tour, and quite looked forward to having a taste of local river snails rice noodle. In front of the display board “Celebrities Eating River Snails Rice Noodle", members of the delegation were very excited to find the photo of the Japanese big eater Yuka Kinoshita challenging river snails rice noodle, and they stopped one after another to take photos to mark the occasion. In the tasting session, Noguchi Kazuma, a student originally uninterested in river snails rice noodle, after smelling the delicious aroma of boiled river snails rice noodle, couldn't help but jointhe queue to fetch the rice noodle swiftly. Mr. Yubara, former Fire Master of Ami-cho, said that many people in Japan liked to eat spicy food, and if the river snails rice noodle could be exported to Japan, he believed it would become a “web celebrity" in Japan too.  

    Featured Tourism: Over the River Lie One-by-One River-crossing Bridges, Against the Bell Tower Grow in-Luxuriance Lotus Leaves 

    In addition to visiting food enterprises and tasting various delicacies, members of the delegation also visited the hundred-mile Liujiang River at night and took a tour to Liuzhou’s Kaiyuan Temple, Giant Dragon Pond (Dalong Pond) and the Lotus Town (Lianhua Town) in Liujiang District.  

  Heavy trees on the ridge obscure the thousand-li vision, waters & currents in the river zigzag like nine-loop bowels.” Hundred-li Liujiang River is just a Hundred-li art gallery. As a city with karst landscape, Liuzhou is encircled by Liujiang River that crosses the urban district to become a "U"-shape byland. Liu Zongyuan, a well-known litterateur in the Tang Dynasty, ever described the city with a line of poem, "Waters & Currents in the River Zigzag Like Nine-loop Bowels”. In order to let the members of the delegation better understand Liuzhou, enjoy the world-renowned night scene of Liuzhou, a night tour to liujiang River was specially arranged for them, who then marveled at the Mt. Panlong Waterfall and said: So fun, just like going sightseeing in a painting.  

  “Whistling winds and drizzling rains form a scene of late autumn; Homing ravens and shutting door accompany the reclusive monk.” Kaiyuan Temple is in the tradition of the Tang Dynasty, the same as the architectural style of Tōshōdai Temple in Nara of Japan. All the buildings in the restoration project of the Temple were constructed with wooden structure, restored and built in line with the style of Tang Dynasty, grand and magnificent in the form and size, as the largest Buddhist temple built in recent years in Asia while also the largest existing Buddhist temple in Guangxi at present. At the Kaiyuan Temple, members of the delegation not only listened to the abbot's introduction of the history and culture of Kaiyuan Temple, but also watched with great interest the Buddhist activities carried out by monks and believers.  

   “A slim lotus leaf, not yet unfurled, scarcely appears, when on its pointed tip a dragonfly is alighted.” Like the Baipeng Town of Liujiang District, Ami-cho is also one of important origins of lotus roots in Japan. During this tour, members of the delegation also made a special trip to the newly built Lotus Town. Although the lotus blossoms had withered in August, the green lotus leaves still brought a slight chill to this sultry summer day. After visiting the Lotus Town, Mr. Chiba Shigeru said that although Ami-cho also produced lotus roots, they had not considered linking lotus and lotus root with tourism; this visit to Lotus Town brought him great inspiration, and after returning to Japan, he also wanted to bring Ami-cho's lotus and tourist industry together to promote the development of tourism in Ami-cho. 

  “A rare stone, precious for its natural quality, is priceless no matter how thick or thin, deficient or sufficient; A fine product, based on human efforts, is naturally full of affection in its shape, color, pattern and texture.” In Liuzhou as a representative city of Chinese rare stone culture, members of the delegation also visited the newly built Museum of Rare Stones and listened to the narrator for introduction on the rich Chinese rare stone culture. In Giant Dragon Pond Park, members of the delegation appreciated the Grand Song of Dong minority, leaf blowing performance and ethnic minority costume exhibition while experiencing various distinctive ethnic minority cultures. 

  Enterprise Exchange: Focus on the Future, Strive for Environmental Protection, Advocate Service and Beautify the City

    Guangxi Shenghe Environmental Protection Technology Co., Ltd. was the last stop of the visit of the friendly delegation of citizens from Ami-cho. 

Accompanied by Xiang Jun, member of the Standing Committee of Municipal Party Committee and Minister of the United Front Work Department of CPC Central Committee, members of the delegation first attentively watched at Shenghe Environmental Protection Headquarters the demonstration of Shenghe Environmental Protection’s bridge cleaning vehicle for fine cleaning of bridges; then together with the President Quan Zhiyin, they watched such machinery and equipment of Shenghe Environmental Protection as environmental sanitation cleaning and sweeping trucks, sprinklers, road maintenance trucks and so on. 

    At the subsequent enterprise symposium, Mr. Chiba Shigeru was particularly interested in the "Shenghe Model" which was innovatively groped out on the basis of the traditional model of Shenghe Environmental Protection, and after learning the mechanized model and the specific application of big data wisdom sanitation, he said: "In Japan, garbage disposal is still dominated by manual operation in many places, which is not only inefficient, but also unhealthy under long-term work. If the new environmental sanitation mode of Shenghe Environmental Protection can be brought back to Ami-cho, I believe it will improve the efficiency of garbage collection and transportation and reduce the burden of relevant workers.” 

   Municipal-Cho Government Exchange: Welcome the Honored Guests with Smiling Faces, and Talk about The Vision Heading for Future 

     In addition to visiting various enterprises and scenic spots in Liuzhou, the delegation also carried out talks and exchanges at symposia respectively with the Xiang Jun, member of the Standing Committee of Municipal Party Committee and Minister of the United Front Work Department of CPC Central Committee, and Lu Liuping, the Vice Mayor of Liuzhou. 

    During the symposia, the two sides reviewed the exchanges between Liuzhou and Ami-cho: Since the establishment of friendly relation of exchange between Liuzhou and Ami-cho in 1996, the two cities had carried out in-depth exchanges and cooperation activities in the fields of cultural education, agricultural research and study, and live-in exchange of students. Liuzhou had sent 19 batches and 162 persons to Ami-cho, and Ami-cho had sent 17 batches and 223 persons to Liuzhou, which indicated the frequent exchanges between the two sides and the practical outcomes and remarkable results of their friendship. Meanwhile, the two sides reached a consensus on strengthening economic, cultural, tourism and education exchanges and cooperation, and conducted active and interactive exchanges on future cooperation in economic and trade, vocational education, science and technology, environmental protection, social pension system and social security for the disabled, etc. 

    The friendship visit and exchange event of the delegation of citizens from Ami-cho achieved satisfactory results. We look forward to the exchange activities in the coming year to further deepen and expand the friendship between the two sides.  

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