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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:


Courtesy of Embassy of the Independent State of Samoa in Japan

Partner Country
Independent State of Samoa

Partner country background story

[Registered as of 14th June 2016]

Iwaki began strengthening relations with the Independent State of Samoa after playing host to the 7th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM7) in May 2015. The subsequent establishment of an honorary consulate in Spa Resort Hawaiians and appointment of an honorary consul in March 2016 provided the perfect opportunity to register Iwaki as the host town for Samoa.

Expected effect of exchanges with the partner country

We hope to forge an enduring friendship with Samoa through joint exchange projects. We will use Samoa's rugby training camp in Iwaki as an opportunity for the people of Iwaki to interact with Samoan athletes and in so doing, contribute to the growth of rugby. Projects such as these will allow us to raise awareness of Fukushima prefecture and Iwaki's recovery throughout Japan and the world. We will also make use of this opportunity to once more express our gratitude for the kindhearted support we have received from across the globe since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

Introduction of the partner country


Samoa is an island nation in the southern Pacific Ocean (Oceania), and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Its islands are scattered throughout the southern Pacific, between 13~15 degrees south latitude and 68~173 degrees west longitude. Samoa lies 4200km southwest of Hawaii and 2900km north east of New Zealand.

[Current Head of State / System of Government]

Head of State: His Highness Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi

System of Governance: Democratically elected head of state.


191,800 people (World Bank, 2014)

[Major Industries]

Agriculture, Coastal Fishing

[Foods (Regional Specialties)]

Taro, Plantain, Coconuts, Noni fruit products

[Popular Sports]

Rugby Football

[Traditional Culture]

Fire Knife Dance [Siva Afi]…A dance performed with by young boys or men twirling large flaming knives around their bodies to the beat of wooden drums. It requires a great deal of courage to perform.

[Tourist Hotspots and Historical Buildings]

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum…The Museum is located on the estate where Robert Louis Stevenson, author of "Treasure Island" and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", spent his days.

To Sua Ocean Trench…A natural turquoise pool 50 metres in diameter and 20 metres deep, accessible by a wooden ladder. The pool is formed by two giant holes connected by an ancient lava tube cave.

Papase'ea Sliding Rocks…A popular tourist hotspot where people brave the waterfall to slide down water rock slides, formed naturally by thousands of years of running water.

Papapapaitai Falls…One of, if not the longest waterfall in Samoa at 100 metres high.