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.
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 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 to mark the 20th anniversary of the twinning link included:
- a visit to Derbyshire by Toyota under 12s football team
- Industry Fest in Japan – a delegation from Derby and Derbyshire promoted what our region has to offer from local produce to tourism
- schools exchange – Derbyshire welcomed 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 took 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.