Taichung City Mayor Chia-lung Lin and Ehime Prefecture Governor Tokihiro Nakamura signed a “Friendly exchange memorandum” at the Ehime Prefectural office on June 1 to forge a friendly bond between the two cities. According to Mayor Lin, both cities forged a sibling-like kinship through the referral of the Chairman of Giant Bicycles King Liu and bicycles. It is hoped that both cities will continue in-depth exchanges in tourism, culture, education and industry in the future, and Governor Tokihiro Nakamura was also invited to visit Taichung next year to attend Taiwan-Japan Tourism Summit Forum and flora expo.
Taichung City has established closer ties with Ehime Prefecture through cycling, which is credited with having one of the best routes in the world, including the internationally acclaimed Shimanami Kaido, which spans across various islands in the Seto Inland Sea. Moreover, Governor Tokihiro Nakamura visited Taiwan in March this year to attend the “OK Taiwan – Departing from Taichung” round-the-island cycling tour. The entourage was welcomed by Mayor Lin and Giant Bicycles Founder King Biao Liu in Taichung.
Through recommendation and referral by Founder Liu, Mayor Lin and Governor Tokihiro Nakamura signed the “Friendly exchange memorandum” under the witness of Phoebe Liu, King Liu’s eldest daughter/CEO of Cycling Life Style Foundation/YouBike Spokesperson, Taichung City Government Tourism Office Director Cheng-shan Chen, Ehime Prefectural Assembly Shuzo Mori and Ehime Prefectural Councilor Toku-ei Shigeki, officially making Taichung City and Ehime Prefecture friendly cities.
When presenting each other with souvenirs, Mayor Lin prepared 2 commemorative cycling jerseys signed by Founder Liu, and both he and Governor Tokihiro Nakamura also placed their signatures on the jerseys, so that Mayor Lin and Governor Tokihiro Nakamura each kept a jersey signed by all 3 persons as a valuable keepsake to honor the signing of the “Friendly exchange memorandum”.
According to Governor Tokihiro Nakamura, without recommendation from Founder Liu, Ehime’s cycling movement would not have achieved such outstanding results. When he was cycling in Taiwan in March this year, he personally experienced the “cycling lifestyle” and hospitality of Taichung City. He also extended his thanks to Founder Liu for introducing Mayor Lin – an avid fellow cyclist – to him. It is hoped that the two cities will engage in further interactions based on the foundation of friendly city.
Mayor Lin suggested that Founder Liu is almost like his father, and Taichung is honored to become the base of operation for Giant Bicycles. By signing the friendly exchange memorandum between the two cities, Founder Liu’s aspiration has been fulfilled and a sibling-like kinship has been created. Besides cycling movement, it is hoped that both cities will continue in-depth exchanges in tourism, culture, education and industry in the future.
Mayor Lin also indicated that Taichung will be hosting the L'Etape du Tour in September, followed by the Taiwan-Japan Tourism Summit Forum and 2018 Taichung World Flora Exposition next year. It is hoped that these events will increase the number of tourists between Taiwan and Japan to 7 million, thereby bridging the tourism gap between the two countries. He extended his warmest welcome to Governor Tokihiro Nakamura to visit Taichung and attend the flora expo.