Tottori Prefectural Assembly Speaker Yoshikazu Fujinawa and other delegates visited Taichung City Hall today (13th), and they were personally received by Mayor Shiow-yen Lu. According to Speaker Fujinawa, the direct flight between Taichung and Tottori will commence on September 4, and he also passed on Governor Shinji Hirai's letter of invitation, inviting Mayor Lu to attend the cycling event to be held in Tottori in October. Mayor replied that she will certainly want to experience the event if the opportunity arises. She also hopes that both cities can engage in more exchanges in order to cement the bilateral relationship.
Tottori Prefectural Assembly Speaker Yoshikazu Fujinawa, Manager Toshiki Endo of the Department of Exchange and Promotion in Tottori Prefecture, and 2 other delegates visited Mayor Lu today in the company of Secretariat Nai-lun Yen, Development Bureau Director-general Ssu-hsiang Kao, Tourism and Travel Bureau Chief Secretary Hung-wen Lin, International Affairs Committee member Ming-ta Hsieh, Taichung Fruits and Vegetables Production and Marketing Company Chairman Chi-sung Lai, and Dadu District Farmers' Association Executive Director Shen-pin Chao. After the meeting, Mayor Lu presented Speaker Fujinawa with Wufeng Sake, who returned the favor with local traditional handmade pottery and travel map.
Mayor Lu commented that the friendship between Taichung and Tottori Prefecture dates back more than 2 decades, and she is delighted to welcome Speaker Fujinawa to visit Taichung. As the cradle of manga artists, Tottori Prefecture is lauded as the Manga Kingdom, producing artists such as Gosho Aoyama, the creator of Case Closed, a detective manga series that is well-known throughout Taiwan, including Mayor Lu.
Mayor Lu said that Tottori Prefecture has participated in international events hosted by Taichung including 2015 Taiwan Lantern Festival and 2018 Taichung World Flora Expo. It is hoped that the bond between the 2 cities can be further reinforced through everyone's joint efforts. At the same time, the aim is to facilitate more bilateral interactions in order to benefit the citizens of both cities.
Speaker Fujinawa suggested that this is the 12th time he has visited Taichung, just last November he was also here to attend the flora expo, where he not only promoted Tottori Prefecture to Taichung citizens but also witnessed the signing of a friendship city agreement between Taichung City and Tottori Prefecture. This year, the Taichung-Tottori direct flight will officially be launched on September 4. When he visited Yumaowu today, he also tasted Taichung's pears and exclaimed "delicious" in Chinese!
Speaker Fujinawa expressed that he participated in the city hall's cycling event 2 years ago from Taichung to Miaoli, and he believes the road conditions in Taiwan are conducive for cycling. In the future, the Tottori will borrow the experience of Taichung in promoting the sport of cycling and related industries. Since Tottori Prefecture will be hosting the Annual Great Earth Tottori Sugoi Ride on October 20, Governor Shinji Hirai personally wrote a letter to invite Mayor Lu to attend the event.
Mayor Lu elaborated that Taichung is not only home to the largest cycling industry on the planet – producing 1/4 of all bicycles manufactured worldwide and accounting for half of the global production value – it also strives to promote cycling. As a result, bikeways have been designed throughout the city, taking cyclists to admire stunning sceneries along the way. She has yet to participate in Tottori's cycling event, so she will definitely want to give it a try if the opportunity arises. She also emphasized that Taichung is a city focusing on promoting cycling as a form of sport and recreation while developing tourism at the same time.
Mayor Lu also mentioned that agriculture is one of Taichung's strong suits, with fruit production quality and quantity ranking top of the country, and myriads of premium quality fruits are exported to Japan as well. Mayor Lu recommended Taichung's specialty agricultural products such as dragon fruit to Speaker Fujinawa.
According to the Secretariat, Tottori Prefecture is located in the Chugoku Region of Japan, with a population of approximately 560,000. Held in August every year, the Tottori Shan-shan Festival and Yonago Gaina Festival are iconic festivities in Tottori. Tottori Prefecture and Taichung City became friendship cities on November 2 last year, since Taichung will be hosting the 2020 Taiwan Lantern Festival, the city hall has invited Tottori Prefecture to design lantern displays at the Friendship City Lantern Area in order to market tourism and engage in bilateral cultural exchanges.