It was 20 years since councils in the 2 regions pledged to work together after the Toyota Motor Company, based in Toyota City, opened up its first European car factory in Burnaston, South Derbyshire.
Ourselves, Derby City Council and South Derbyshire District Council were key players in attracting the car manufacturing giant to the county bringing thousands of jobs to the area. And councils in Derbyshire and Toyota City have been working together to benefit the economy, environment and education.
Now the partnership is to take another step forward by increasing educational links to include the University of Derby, building links in sport and working more on economic and environmental issues.
Things you may not know about Toyota City
The city is located in the centre of Aichi Prefecture, on the largest of Japan’s 4 islands - Honshu.
It is famed as ‘Automobile City’ but it's also blessed with an abundance of nature, history and culture.
It was once a main producer of silk but as demand declined after 1930, Kiichiro Toyoda started to look at alternatives to the family’s automatic loom manufacturing business. This led to the founding of the Toyota Motor Corporation.
It was once known as the city of Koromo, but due to the fame and economic importance of its major employer, it was changed to Toyota in 1959.