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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:


Partner Country
Kingdom of the Netherlands

Partner country background story

[Registered as of 26th January 2016]

In the early years of the Meiji era, a Dutch engineer named van Doorn helped to design the Asaka Canal as part of the Asaka land reclamation project, Japan's first national land reclamation project. On the basis of this connection, Koriyama and Brummen city signed a sister city agreement in June 1988, and have continued to strengthen their relationship in the 30 years since.

Expected effect of exchanges with the partner country

Our aim is to create a Legacy that continues long after the Games, by developing a broad range of sports, cultural, and economic exchanges with the Netherlands. In particular, we would like to focus on Koriyama's music, famous Dutch artists such as van Gogh, and Vermeer, and also the Dutch agricultural industry, the world's second largest exporter of agricultural products.

Introduction of the partner country


The Kingdom of the Netherlands is comprised of four constituent countries: the Netherlands in western Europe; and Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten in the Carribean.

[Current Head of State / System of Government]

His Majesty the King of the Netherlands Willem Alexander / Constitutional monarchy


17.048 million people (Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics - August 2016)

[Major Industries]

Wholesale/retail trade, Manufacturing (food and drink processing, chemicals, medicine etc.), Medical/Social welfare industry (2015 GDP Data)

[Foods (Regional Specialties)]

Cheese…Gouda cheese is particularly famous, and is well-known even within Japan.

Beer…The Netherlands is the producer of many world-famous brands, e.g. Heineken.

[Popular Sports]

Association Football…The most popular sport in the Netherlands by number of active participants. The Netherlands have a solid record in top-level championships such as the World Cup, in which they hold the record for playing the most finals without ever winning the tournament.

Cycling…Many people use bikes for transport in the Netherlands as the flat terrain makes cycling relatively easy. Cycling has even become popular as a competitive sport.

[Traditional Culture]

Sinterklaas…A historical figure with legendary and folkloric origins based on Nikolaos of Myra (Saint Nicholas). Sinterklaas is said to be the primary source for Santa Clause. Traditionally, Sinterklaasvond (Sinterklaas evening) is celebrated on December 5th with the giving of gifts.

[Tourist Hotspots and Historical Buildings]

Windmills…As more than a quarter of the country is below sea level, the Netherlands has long been troubled by water drainage issues. Historically, windmills were used to pump water out of the lowlands, and many remain standing to this day.

Canals…A large number of canals were constructed in the Netherlands for various purposes, whether to drain water from the soil, or to transport supplies.

[Other Features]

Tulips…Keukenhof, known for its tulips, is said to be the world's largest flower garden. The tulip has been a favourite among the Dutch ever since its introduction around the end of the 16th century.

Art…The Netherlands has produced many world-famous painters including van Gogh, Vermeer, and Rembrandt, to name but a few.

Miffy…Miffy is a children's picture book character created by Dutch artist Dick Bruna. The Miffy brand is popular in Japan.