Since 1981, the Town of Taber and Notogawa, Japan have been twinned municipalities. Notogawa was a town located in Kanzaki District, in Shiga Prefecture in Japan. In 2006, Notogawa was merged into the city of Higashiomi. Therefore, in 2006, Taber re-signed the Twinning Agreement to demonstrate the Town's commitment to keeping the friendship going.
Notogawa Station is the only Japanese Railway Station in Higashiomi, which harkens to the similarity between the two municipalities in regards to the importance of the railway. The Twinning Agreement is the third oldest in Alberta, behind Jasper (1972) and Banff (1976).
In alternating years, delegates from each municipality travel to the other country in order to experience a new country, culture, and enjoy new friendships! The delegations are typically comprised of students with a few adults, but there have been delegations with adult citizens from each country. Many of the gifts presented to the Town of Taber can be found within a cabinet just outside Council Chambers, and are held in perpetuity to be enjoyed by generations of Taberites yet to come.
The Twinning Relationship provides opportunities for both municipalities to experience new cultures, collaboration between governments, as well as possible economic growth. But above all, it provides an avenue for citizens to create and foster friendships beyond borders!
The Twinning Relationship is in coordination with the Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association, whose mission it is to "stimulate, co-ordinate and facilitate the twinning opportunities within the Province of Alberta and Japan."
Want to learn more about Bilateral Relations in Canada? Visit the Government of Canada's website here.