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Lockyer Valley signs friendship agreement with Japan's Ageo

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones watches on as Ageo Mayor Minoru Shimamura signs the friendship agreement at council chambers in Gatton.
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones watches on as Ageo Mayor Minoru Shimamura signs the friendship agreement at council chambers in Gatton. Derek Barry

LOCKYER Valley Regional Council is hoping to reap mutual benefits after signing an agreement of friendship with a delegation from its Japanese sister city Ageo.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said the agreement would have social and cultural benefits as well as economic.

"Their municipality was very similar to ours 50 years ago and they've grown to be a very large place with a lot of industry and they've got a lot of experience," Cr Jones said.

"They have a lot to offer us and we have something to offer them."

He said the Japanese were really passionate about Lockyer Valley's food and as part of the visit they took the delegation to see local farms.

"Their great desire is to learn about our food," he said.

Following the signing of the agreement at a special meeting for the Ageo City civic delegation in council chambers in Gatton on Wednesday, the delegation then moved next door to Centenary  Park.

There Cr Jones and Ageo Mayor Minoru Shimamura unveiled a monument stone to commemorate the friendship and relationships between the municipalities.

The inscription says Ageo was a rural area and farmland community similar to the Lockyer Valley before developing into a major metropolitan city.

The Mayors then planted an azalea - the flower of Ageo - in the park.

The event concluded with a performance of Aboriginal dancing from the Nunukul Yuggera dancers which was warmly received by the visiting delegation.

Ageo is in Saitano prefecture, about 35 minutes from central Tokyo by train and has a population of around 225,000 - roughly ten times that of the Lockyer Valley.

Topics:  lockyer valley, lockyer valley regional council, sister city


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