24/10/2018 05:03 PM
Sydney and Japan celebrate 50-year port relationship
Sydney and the city of Yokkaichi in Japan celebrate the 50-year anniversary of their sister port relationship.
Fifty years ago today (Wednesday 24 October), the ports of Sydney found themselves with a new sibling: Yokkaichi Port in Japan. Established in 1968, this sister port relationship between Sydney and Yokkaichi has been going strong ever since.
Located in Mie Prefecture, in the Kansai region of Japan’s main island, Honshu, Yokkaichi is a port city of 300,000 about 50km south of Nagoya and 100km east of Kyoto.
Image: Yokkaichi’s location in central Japan
The city developed rapidly in the late 19th century and the port grew in international significance.
While trade in those days centred on seed oil, Banko ceramics and tea, the city became a major manufacturing centre and Yokkaichi Port now supports large-scale petrochemical industries and cargo including containers, roll-on/roll-off, dry bulk and lumber.
Image: A manhole cover in Yokkaichi featuring some familiar Sydney icons
The two ports have come a long way since their relationship first began in the wool trade and since they formed the relationship in 1968 — the first of the sister-port relationships currently established in Australia.
Image: The monument at Molineaux Point celebrating the Sydney / Yokkaichi port relationship
In 2001, a monument was placed at Molineaux Point in Sydney’s Botany Bay to commemorate the friendship and both ports will celebrate the half-century anniversary with reciprocal gift giving.
Sister port relationships, like the one between Sydney and Yokkaichi are common around the world and help foster cooperation, collaboration and understanding between organisations.
Over the years, the relationship has given Sydney and Yokkaichi opportunities to share knowledge and expertise and further the ties between Australia and Japan, including delegation visits and technical exchange programs for staff.