On Monday morning, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Chris Poulter, Mayor Mike Carr and Councillor Alan Grimadell left for Japan to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the partnership between Derbyshire and Toyota City.

The delegates from Derby City Council will be welcomed by Mayor Ota of Toyota City and will be taking part in a variety of events and ceremonies organised by Toyota City Council.

This trip is of particular importance as 2018 marks the 20 year twinning of Toyota City and Derbyshire and will promote Derby and Derbyshire as a tourist destination, as well as celebrating industry and growth of both cities.

As part of the visit, Derbyshire will be gifting their hosts with a Friendship Stone, a ceremonial mill stone, which has a bronze square centre, reminiscent of an old Japanese coin to mark the joining of their cultural heritage.

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council said:

“This trip is a fantastic opportunity for Derby, not only for the chance to get to know our partners in Toyota City better but to learn about and embrace our similarities, as both cities have industry and innovation at their core. I hope that this trip helps us understand more about our partners and continues to strengthen our 20 year partnership with Toyota City and Toyota Motoring UK.”

The seven day trip mirrors the recent trip to Derby and Derbyshire that the Japanese delegation made at the start of the month.

“We are greatly looking forward to meeting Mayor Ota who, on his recent visit to Derby, expressed a keen desire to expand business, education and tourism links between our two regions.”

The relationship between Derby and Toyota City began back in 1998 when Toyota built there UK headquarters in Derbyshire.