PERAK is looking for more partnership opportunities with Fukuoka after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the latter and Taiping.

Perak Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said the state had a unique history with Fukuoka since 1989.

“The first agreement between Ipoh and Fukuoka was inked in 1989 to establish the Twin Cities of Ipoh and Fukuoka in Japan.

“Both cities have held many programmes, including the Asia Pacific Children Convention, Ipoh – Fukuoka Students Exchange and many more,” he said after witnessing the MoU signing at the state secretariat building.

The signatories were Taiping Municipal Council (MPT) president Datuk Abd Rahim Md Ariff, and Fukuoka mayor Soichiro Takashima.

Ahmad Faizal added that Ipoh and Fukuoka would be celebrating their 30th anniversary as twin cities on March 21, with many activities in store.

“This twinning relationship has expanded with Taiping signing the MoU. Both Taiping and Fukuoka will be working in the fields related to zoology, education and public awareness as well as wildlife conservation,” he added.

Abd Rahim said the purpose of the MoU is to formalise and strengthen the relationship between MPT and the Fukuoka City Government.

“One of our objectives is to further cooperate in the field of animal welfare science and the delivery of professional species-management processes that optimise viability, sustainability and conservation.

“Both Taiping and Fukuoka have a common mission to take the initiative in promoting educational activities and preserving the natural environment as well as to encourage the locals to respect nature,” he added.

He said through the MoU, both would mutually discuss, collaborate and cooperate on various matters such as researches related to the protection of endangered species, potential exchanges of animals, technical exchanges of officers and staff as well as nature conservation.

Expressing his gratitude towards the signing of the MoU, Takashima believed the move also deepened Fukuoka’s relationship with Taiping and Perak.

“At present, the Fukuoka Zoo is undergoing a renewal process and being turned into a brand new facility.

“Its convenient location has made it a popular family destination.

“However, some of our animals are getting old. Thus, we hope this MoU will contribute to the conservation and preservation of rare species through animal exchange,” said Takashima.

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