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YAB Menteri Besar Perak Dato’ Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu headed a 26-member delegation from the state to Fukuoka, Japan for 3 days, from 1st until 3rd April, in conjunction with the 30th anniversary celebration of Ipoh – Fukuoka Twin Cities.

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Among the delegates were State Housing, Local Government, Public Transport, Non-Muslim Affairs and New Villages committee chairman Paul Yong Choo Kiong, Perak State Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Encik Mohd Ariff Yeop Ishak, other state government officials and Ipoh City Council’s head of departments.

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The twin cities link between Ipoh and Fukuoka City Councils was established on 21st March, 1989. The main objective of this relationship is to strengthen and advance the partnership, plus cooperation between these two cities. This tie also expands opportunities in economics, commerce, science & technology, sports, health and education.

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The three-day working visit was to share best practices implemented by more effective urban management, seeking investment opportunities in trade aspects to help improve the state economy as well as acquire knowledge in the implementation of green technologies and safe cities to preserve the environment.

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YAB Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) Dato’ Seri Ahmad Faizal and his delegation were welcomed by Mr Nakamura Eiichi, Deputy Mayor of Fukuoka at the airport. The following day, a courtesy visit was paid to Fukuoka Mayor Mr. Soichiro Takashima, at his office in Fukuoka City Hall.

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Various aspects have been discussed and among the items were to enhance bilateral and collaborative relations between the Perak State Government and the Ipoh City Council such as long-term exchange of officers and students as well as expertise in the care and maintenance of the Japanese Garden in Ipoh.

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The Perak Chief Minister and his delegation also met with Fukuoka City Council Members, who will reciprocate the visit to Ipoh City later this year. On the agenda are sittings at the Perak State Legislative Assembly and Ipoh City Council Meeting Hall, apart from meeting with the Perak State Executive Councillors and Ipoh City Councillors.

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During this trip, the delegation also visited Yusentei Park, a traditional Japanese garden, and attended the summit of the Sakura Festival Celebration where cherry blossoms were illuminated with colourful lights.

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This working visit was extended to the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), a private university owned by the public sector and jointly managed with private sector students from 90 countries. The Perak State Government expressed its desire to cooperate in the high service sector with APU.

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The Chief Minister was also briefed on Fukuoka 100, a comprehensive model to ensure senior citizens live healthily and receive adequate support from government and local communities.

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A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ipoh City and Fukuoka City on aspects of Japanese Garden’s care and maintenance at the Japanese Garden in Ipoh and Ipoh Garden in Fukuoka, as well as on student exchange programmes at higher education level and interchange of officers in a more systematic way in the near future in managing municipal services.

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This meaningful visit will surely continue to strengthen the bilateral and collaborative relationship between Ipoh and Fukuoka as twin cities, hence become one of the best practice models in managing Ipoh City and the state of Perak.

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