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About Host Towns

What is the Host Town Initiative?

The Host Town Initiative is a system whereby the Cabinet Secretariat will designate local authorities all over Japan working towards human, economic and cultural exchanges with participating countries/regions, as "Host Towns", in order to contribute to making Japan a "Sports Nation", encourage globalization, revitalize local areas and promote inbound tourism toward the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games,
Designated local authorities will receive the country’s support to develop deeper relations with their partner country, with the aim of revitalizing local areas.

(For further details, click the link below:

Inawashiro Town

Partner Country
Republic of Ghana

Partner country background story

[Registered as of 26th January 2016]

Ghana is where Inawashiro native Dr. Hideyo Noguchi met his end. Every three years since 2007, around 20 Ghanaian high-school students visit Inawashiro as part of a homestay program. During their stay, the students participate in culture and sports exchanges with local high-school students and residents of the town. These cultural links are the reason that we selected Ghana as our host town partner.

Expected effect of exchanges with the partner country

We plan to use the host town initiative to challenge misconceptions of the safety of Inawashiro since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and to promote the revitalisation of the Inawashiro area by raising recognition of Inawashiro abroad and encouraging visitors, and through personal, economic, and cultural exchanges with Ghana.

Introduction of the partner country


Ghana is located in West Africa, in roughly the centre of the Gulf of Guinea

[Current Head of State/ System of Governance]

The current head of state is Nana Akufo-Addo
Ghana is a presidential constitutional democratic republic


25.5 million (2012 Census)

[Major Industries]

Agriculture (Cacao), Mining (Precious metals, non-ferrous metals, petroleum)

[Typical Foods (Specialty Products)]

Fufu is the most well-known Ghanaian dish.
Similar in shape and consistency to Japanese mochi, Fufu is made by mixing plantain, cassava, and yams, and is typically eaten with the soup of one's choice.

[Popular Sports]

Association Football…Ghana has won the African Cup of Nations a total of 4 times in 1962, 1965, 1978, and 1982.
Ghana dominated their group in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers to secure a place in the main tournament, while in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Ghana became the 3rd African country ever to reach the quarter-final stage.

[Traditional Culture]

Homowo is the largest festival in Accra, Ghana's capital city.
The tradition of Homowo originated from a period of famine caused by failure of the seasonal rains needed by crops in the Greater Accra Region, where the Ga people predominantly dwell. People celebrate Homowo by beating drums and dancing along to the rhythm.

[Tourist Hotspots and Historical Buildings]

Lake Volta…Lake Volta, in Ghana, is the world's largest artificial reservoir. Lake Volta is formed by the Akosombo Dam which dams the Volta River.

Cape Coast Castle…This castle was initially constructed for the trade of timber and gold, but came to be used in the slave trade as the last stopping-off point before the Atlantic crossing. The castle is now registered as a World Heritage site.