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Yokohama Sister City of Odessa


The twinning agreement between the two cities was signed on July 1, 1965. Yokohama and Odessa have many things in common: both cities are international ports and were rebuilt after being destroyed during WWII. For the last five decades, the two Sister Cities have been cooperating in many fields, such as culture, sports and healthcare.


Yokohama is located in the centre of Japan, along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, and is one of the 15 Japanese Government-designated cities. The total population of Yokohama is 3.7 million persons, making the city the second largest one after Tokyo. Many foreign enterprises have established their branches in Yokohama because of its international trading port.

Yokohama, was the first harbour city opening to the world as the entrance to Japan, kicking off the modernisation of Japan in the 19th century. Since then, Yokohama has been vigorously acquiring new cultures from foreign countries and introducing to Japan first-time-ever things from food to a wide range of products, which entitles Yokohama as the birthplace of Japan’s modern culture.

Yokohama is a lively international port town and a city of art and culture, continuously generating new urban values and fascination. Yokohama boasts not only international museums and unique objects placed in the parks, naturally incorporated with the harbour cityscape, but also offers the experience of the Japanese traditional popular arts. The city preserves cultural facilities such as museums, classical music hall or Noh (Japanese traditional masked dance-drama) theatres, and utilise local old warehouses and historical buildings, to promote the economic revitalisation of the city. Its port views are a unique and attractive townscape for residents and visitors.


Main events of the Twinning with Odessa

  • 1995. Visit of the official delegation of Odessa, headed by the mayor of the city, to Yokohama on the occasion of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of twinning relations.
  • 1996. Visit of the Odessa sports delegation headed by N. Olizarenko to participate in the International Yokohama Marathon.
  • 1997. Holding a festival of Japanese cinema in Odessa, initiated by the Japanese Embassy in Ukraine and the Far East charitable foundation.
  • July 19-24, 2005. Visit of the official delegation of Ukraine, headed by the President of Ukraine, to Yokohama to establish relations with the mayor of the city, Mr. Hiroshi Nakada. The delegation also included the Odessa mayor.
  • 2005. Visit of the official delegation of Yokohama to Odessa on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of twinning. The delegation includes members of the Yokohama-Odessa Friendship Committee.
  • 2006. Mr. Norio Tomioka, a representative of the city of Yokohama (office in Frankfurt), visited Odessa as part of the celebration of the City Day.
  • January, 10, 2007. Meeting of Odessa city mayor Eduard Gurvits with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine Mutsuo Mabuchi. Problems of Odessa’s and its Japanese twin-city Yokohama partnership development, Japanese tourism perspectives and help programme were discussed. Besides, the Ambassador asked Mr. Gurvits to provide assistance to the Japanese language lecturer at National Mechnikov University: a volunteer teacher from Yokohama, Ms. Yoneyama, offering free Japanese language courses at the Faculty of International Relations.
  • September 2009. The Head of the Yokohama Representative Office in Europe, Hiroyuki Okamoto, visited Odessa to celebrate the 215th anniversary of the city’s founding.
  • September 2009. The Odessa mayor congratulated Mrs. Fumiko Hayashi on her victory in the election of the mayor of Yokohama.
  • September 2010. Mr. Hiroyuki Okamoto, Head of the Yokohama Representative Office in Europe, visited Odessa on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the sister city relations between Odessa and Yokohama, which was celebrated together with the 216th anniversary of the founding of Odessa. As part of the celebrations, a festival of Japanese cinema was held, as well as an exhibition of works by Odessa artists, whose paintings were sent to the city of Yokohama as a gift to its citizens. A competition was held among students for knowledge of the Japanese language, history and culture of Japan and Yokohama. In addition, there was a Japanese street fashion masquerade and a street performance in Japanese.
  • September 9-11, 2010. A delegation of the Yokohama-Odessa Friendship Committee visited Odessa. During the visit, discussions were held on deepening cooperation between the cities, in particular, the creation of a Japanese-style park in Odessa.
  • On September, 2, 2015, there was an official visit to Odessa in Ukraine, for the 50th anniversary cities of the sister-city relationship. The city of Yokohama gave 25 rose bushes to Odessa in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary. Roses are the symbol flower of Yokohama. They were planted in the Lunniy Park in Odessa. Makoto Sekiyama, Director General of the International Affairs Bureau of the City of Yokohama, and Takashi Yanagisawa, Chief Representative of Yokohama in Frankfurt, attended the ceremony with Gennadiy Trukhanov, mayor of Odessa, and Shigeki Sumi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Ukraine.
  • On September 4, 2015. The Mayor of Odessa Trukhanov met with the Ambassador Sumi and Mr. Yanagisawa, representative of Yokohama. The sides discussed issues of economy, education and culture spheres and the development of relations between the cities of Odessa and Yokohama. During the meeting, the Japanese delegation also assured the Mayor of Odessa in their willingness to support the citizens of Odessa in the reforms progess. For example, Odessa police patrol received 40 new hybrid vehicles Toyota Prius. The cars were transferred to Ukraine thanks to a Japanese government grant.
  • September 2015. Within the celebration of the Days of Japan, dedicated to the Japanese culture, the Day of Tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) was held in Odessa zoo. The honourable guest of the holiday was Yanagisawa-san. The representative of Yokohama conducted a quiz for children, by the results of which all the young Japanese scholars received gifts. The kids who came to Odessa Zoo had not only an opportunity to take part in funny games and contests, but also learned to dance with hand fan, tried to compete in traditional Japanese sumo wrestling, and participated in master classes on origami and calligraphy.
  • Every five years, Odessa City Council organises a large Japanese cultural festival. For three days, many events are offered to citizens, such as Japanese language classes, Judo tournament and quiz contest for children, in different sites in Odessa. Young and old Odessites can experience Japanese culture first-hand. These steady exchanges have the purpose to promote exchanges between the two cities in cultural, sports and economical fields.
Japanese Ambassador Shigeki Sumi in Odessa