No Japanese Cities Cut Ties with Russian Peers


Tokyo, Feb. 22 (Jiji Press)--Despite growing criticism of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, no Japanese municipalities have dissolved their sister-city relationships with Russian partners.

Sister-city relations are "different from relations between countries," said an official at the western Japan city of Osaka. But exchange programs have been frozen due to the Russian aggression.

According to the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations, 43 municipalities in Japan have sister-city relationships or friendship city agreements with Russian partners, unchanged from the level before the start of the war in Ukraine.

Osaka dissolved its sister-city relationship with San Francisco in 2018 over a statue set up by the U.S. city as a symbol of "comfort women," who provided sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II. Osaka, however, maintains its relationship with the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

"The situation is different from San Francisco, which placed the statue on a city-owned plot at its own will," an Osaka city official said. "If we cut (the ties with the Russian city), we will no longer be able to have a dialogue," the official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press