It's 20 years since councils in the two 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.
The county council , 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 over the past two decades, 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.
Celebration events are taking place throughout the year to mark the 20th anniversary of the twinning link including:
- A visit to Derbyshire by Toyota under 12s football team
- Industry Fest in Japan – a delegation from Derby and Derbyshire promoting what our region has to offer from local produce to tourism.
- Schools exchange – Derbyshire welcomes students from Toyota Junior High. Since the twinning started, around 1,000 young people from Derbyshire have taken part in an exchange visit to Toyota staying with families, attending school, performing music and visiting significant sites such as Hiroshima and Kyoto city.
- Visitors from Toyota City Council take a tour of Derbyshire including Peak District National Park and Derby Velodrome.
Things you may not know about Toyota City . . .
- The city is located in the centre of Aichi Prefecture, on the largest of Japan’s four 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.