Mayor of Nagasaki visits Leiden
On September 25 2018 a delegation from Nagasaki, led by Mayor Tomihisa and accompanied by several Nagasaki city council members, visited Leiden. The 50-man delegation also included representatives from trade and industry, cultural organisations and private individuals. The delegation’s first stop was Japan Museum SieboldHuis, once home to Philipp Franz von Siebold, where they were received by director Mrs, Kris Schiermeier. Siebold is viewed by many as the one of the first to forge the ties between our two cities.
Next stop on the agenda was a visit to the Hortus Botanicus where the delegation was met by the director Paul Kessler, Carla Teune and Izai Kikuchi. A guided tour of the hortus followed highlighting the horticultural ties with Japan including trees and plants and the Siebold Memorial Garden.
The group continued on foot to city hall where they received a warm welcome by Mayor Henri Lenferink and H.E. the Ambassador of Japan to the Netherlands, Hiroshi Inomata. Mayor Lenferink recalled several amusing incidents that occured while in Japan the previous year when the official Twin City Agreement was signed.
The Japanese custom of gift-giving was not forgotten. This time a special word of thanks went to Kuniko Forrer for her ourstandingwork in preparing this visit on behalf of the SLVN.
Three boats were waiting at city hall to take the group on a lunch cruise along the canals of Leiden.
Transportation and delightful sandwiches were provided by ‘Broodjes & Bootjes’. The boat trip ended at the Museum of Ethnology where Director Stijn Schoonderwoerd and curator Daan Kok invited the delegation for a guided tour of the museum.
An energetic performance by Raiden Yosokoi brought end to the day’s activities. This traditional Japanese Fishermen dance is extremely popular in Japan and especially in Nagasaki. Raiden Yosokoi was was presented with a special flag from Nagasaki last year. Initially three performances were planned, however the delegation thought otherwise and cheered and shouted ‘Motte koi, motte koi’ (encore).
A closing dinner was held hosted by Alderwoman Yvonne van Delft. Mayor Taue expressed his gratitude for the hospitality he enjoys when visiting Leiden and for the deep friendship he feels when the people of Nagasaki and Leiden meet.