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Ulaanbaatar eyes sister city deal with Tokyo
Central Asia | politics | 15:35, 21 April 2017 | 1549

AKIPRESS.COM - S.Batbold, mayor of Mongolia’s capital said on April 19 that Ulaanbaatar is seeking to forge a sister city agreement with Tokyo by 2020 and expand bilateral ties through tourism, culture and sports. At present Mayor Batbold is making a five-day visit to Tokyo, reports news.mn.

Under an envisioned sister city deal, which he hopes to finalize while he is in office until 2020, Mr Batbold said he wants his city to gain more knowledge and technical expertise from Tokyo in waste disposal and recycling, and attract more tourists to Ulaanbaatar.

On Tokyo’s hosting of the Olympics, Mayor Batbold quoted Yuriko Koike, the governor of the Japanese capital, as telling him she welcomed the participation of more Mongolian athletes, and he expressed hope for many of his compatriots to take part in the games.

As part of efforts to boost ties at the grass-roots level, Mayor Batbold said, “I would like to seek the cooperation of Mongolian sumo wrestlers, for instance, Hakuho, and see the exchange of our cities’ cultural ambassadors.” Hakuho is a Mongolian yokozuna (grand champion).

Over the years, Japan and Mongolia have forged close ties, given their shared interest in sumo, with Mongolian wrestlers showing dominance in Japan’s traditional sport. In 2015, the nations signed a free trade agreement, a first for Mongolia.

S.Batbold, who is in Tokyo for a five-day visit until Friday to meet with Governor Koike and learn about city planning, said he sees the FTA as a key driver to enhance trade and investment for their countries.

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