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NL: Japanese delegation from Kochi visits Westland business community

A joint delegation of high-level representatives of the Japanese government, educational institutions and entrepreneurs is currently visiting Westland. Aldermam Zwinkels yesterday received Mr. Arima, deputy director-general of the Japanese Department of Agricultural Development, and his delegation at the World Horti Center. The alderman emphasised the long-standing relationship between Kochi and the Municipality of Westland. During the visit, the foreign guests are to meet with various Westland companies that can help further develop Kochi’s horticulture cluster.

In the coming years, the Abe government intends to invest millions in expanding the horticulture sector in Kochi. This will be done in cooperation with knowledge institutions and companies and Westland businesses can make an important contribution here. Japan is seeking to modernise its agriculture and horticulture sectors and already has a strong relationship with the Netherlands. The Japanese government regards Dutch horticulture as exemplary.

Twin regions of horticulture
Since 2009, the Municipality of Westland and the province of Kochi have established a friendly alliance based on shared ambitions in the field of horticulture. Over the past decade, Westland has developed a firm foothold in Japan due to the efforts of officials in Kochi and various high-profile visits to our region by Japanese ministers, universities and CEOs. Kochi’s vegetable production has in recent years increased enormously and has set the standard in Japan. This improvement is a direct consequence of greenhouse technological innovations that have taken place in Kochi as a result of cooperation with numerous Westland companies.

Strategic partnership
Westland has close ties with the Dutch embassy in Tokyo, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Japanese embassy in The Hague, all of which are important partners for the region. In addition, the Lentiz Educational Group has for many years been running a student exchange programme with Kochi.

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