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About Host Towns

What is the Host Town Initiative?

The Host Town Initiative is a system whereby the Cabinet Secretariat will designate local authorities all over Japan working towards human, economic and cultural exchanges with participating countries/regions, as "Host Towns", in order to contribute to making Japan a "Sports Nation", encourage globalization, revitalize local areas and promote inbound tourism toward the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games,
Designated local authorities will receive the country’s support to develop deeper relations with their partner country, with the aim of revitalizing local areas.

(For further details, click the link below:


Partner Country

Partner country background story

[Registered as of 9th December 2016]

Relations between Switzerland and Fukushima took a big step forward in August 2013, when
an aerobatic jet show sponsored by Swiss watchmaker Breitling took place in aid of Fukushima's recovery from the 2011 disaster. We have built upon our relationship since then by cooperating on events in Fukushima, i.e. the Sky Sports International Festival in Fukushima city, and the internationally renowned Lucerne Festival's Ark Nova project.

Expected effect of exchanges with the partner country

Through the the host town initiative, we intend to raise awareness of Fukushima's recovery, and remove the stigma attached to Fukushima. At the same time, we hope to encourage tourists from abroad, and promote a revival of local sports, industry, arts and culture, while also re-energising our community and increasing the number of people in Fukushima actively involved in exchange.

Introduction of the partner country


Swtizerland is a landlocked, mountainous country located in roughly the centre of Europe.

[Current Head of State / System of Government]

President Doris Leuthard / Federal Republic


8.24 million (2014 Swiss Federal Statistics Office)

[Major Industries]

Specialised machinery and equipment, Banking, Processed food, Pharmaceuticals, Tourism, Agriculture

[Typical Foods (Specialty Products)]

Cheese…Switzerland's thriving dairy industry produces hundreds of kinds of cheese.

Cattle…Multiple products including beef, veal, sausages, Bündnerfleisch (dried beef) and so on.

Chocolate…Ganache, chocolate bars, truffles, etc. Switzerland is the birthplace of the most common form of chocolate today, milk chocolate.

Swiss wine…Production of swiss wine is limited and most of the national production is consumed within Switzerland and rarely exported, making it quite rare.

[Popular Sports]

Association football…Switzerland holds its own even in Europe, the heart of football, having qualified for the FIFA World Cup 10 times.

Ice hockey…A popular sport in Switzerland. Switzerland's performance in the top-tier leagues is among the best in the world.

Cycling…Competitive cycling has an active following in Switzerland, which has played host to several international cycling races e.g. the Tour de Suisse.

Mountain climbing…People come to Switzerland from all around the world aiming to conquer the stunning peaks of the Swiss Alps.

[Traditional Culture]

Fasnacht…Fasnacht refers to the Carnivals in Switzerland that take place between February and March, in which people dress up in costumes and go out on parade. The Basel, Lucerne, and Bern Carnivals are particularly famous.

Chästeilet…A traditional harvest festival celebrated around the beginning of September when the alpine cattle return from their pastures in the mountains. The festival is based around the distribution of the cheese produced by the cows to their respective owners.

Lucerne Festival…Top-class orchestras, conducters, and musicians gather in Lucerne to take part in this renowned international music festival. The festival has three main celebrations each year; the Easter Festival; the Summer Festival; and the "Lucerne Festival at the Piano" in November,

[Tourist Hotspots and Historical Buildings]

Bern…The capital city of Switzerland. The Old City of Bern is a designated World Heritage Site and many parts of the area remain largely unchanged since the Middle Ages e.g. Bern Minster.

Chillon Castle…An old castle on the shores of the scenic Lake Geneva. Famous as the setting for the epic poem, "The Prisoner of Chillon", by English poet Lord Byron.

Matterhorn…The Matterhorn stands at 4,478 metres high, and is one of the most well-known mountains in the Swiss Alps. Mountain railways, gondolas, and observations decks can be found in the vicinity.

[Other Features]

Watches…Switzerland leads the world in watchmaking, and is renowned for its many quality watchmakers and the precise mechanical watches they produce.

Swiss Style…Swiss Style has achieved global recognition as a distinctive, high-quality style of design with applications for everything from daily commodities to architecture.