In a recent article published on the website of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Takagi Masahiro highlighted the surprisingly successful collaboration between the cities of Matsudo and Constanta, titled “Exchange between the City of Matsudo and the City of Constanta through Pears.”
This joint effort, which has been in the making since 2015, emerges as an exceptional example of transcontinental collaboration that goes beyond geographical borders and spans culture, economics and diplomacy.
Growing Pears and Strengthening Bonds: A Unique Project
From the town of Matsudo, known for the famous “20th Century” pears, to the mountainous Constanza in the Dominican Republic, this partnership has paid off, literally.
The cooperation to grow Matsudo pears on Dominican soil has evolved since 2016, demonstrating an unwavering commitment despite adversity, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most notable is the innovative use of JICA’s “Community Technical Cooperation” scheme, which has made it possible to adapt cultivation techniques to Constanza’s climate and altitude.
This approach not only represents a boost for the diversification of fruit production in the Dominican Republic, but also sets a rare precedent for knowledge transfer and technical collaboration between cities.
Sports, firefighters and gastronomy: Links beyond pears
The connection between Matsudo and Constanta is not limited to pears. Prior to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Matsudo hosted a taekwondo athlete from the Dominican Republic, demonstrating a tangible commitment to cultural exchange through sport. In addition, Matsudo’s donation of fire trucks to Constanza further strengthened the ties between the two cities.
The partnership agreement signed between the mayors of Matsudo and Constanza, with the presence of the Dominican ambassador to Japan, Robert Takat, went beyond protocol. This pact paved the way for culinary initiatives, such as the sale of delicious desserts made with Dominican cocoa in Matsudo, fusing the gastronomic traditions of both countries.
Celebrating diversity and the contribution of immigrants
The connection between Constanza and Japanese immigrants after World War II is a testament to the diversity that enriches the city. The Harvest Festival, held last July, was a showcase of Japanese events such as bon dancing, martial arts and immigration history.
Ambassador Takagi Masahiro actively participated in the festival, reflecting the shared cultural richness between Japan and the Dominican Republic. In addition, the event highlighted the contribution of Japanese and Spanish immigrants to the transformation of Constanza into a renowned agricultural region.
Future prospects and appreciation for cooperation
This ongoing exchange between Matsudo and Constanza not only represents a successful partnership between two distant cities, but also symbolizes the fruitful collaboration between Japan and the Dominican Republic.
Ambassador Takagi Masahiro, in his article, highlights only a part of this exchange, leaving the door open for future initiatives to further consolidate the friendship between the two nations.