Shinshiro (Newcastle), Japan hosted the first-ever global youth conference of Newcastles of the World from 8th to 13th December!  30 Youth delegates came from ten Newcastles, joining youth delegates in Shinshiro, with about 60 young people participating.

This included Newcastle upon Tyne, together with Shinshiro, Japan, Neuchatel, Switzerland, Akhaltsikhe, Georgia, Newcastle, Canada, Neuburg, Germany, Nove Hrady, Czech Republic, Nyborg, Denmark, Kota Baru, Malaysia, Jaunpils, Latvia, Nove Zamky, Slovakia.

The conference theme focused on ‘What attracts young people to cities in the age of globalisation?’  Working together in groups, the delegates came up with ideas for new youth project development across the Newcastles.

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Mayor Hozumi and his City Council assembly members and staff gave us a wonderful welcome, hosting an excellent conference, as well as enabling the delegates to gain first-hand experience of traditional Japanese culture, including traditional dance, a tea ceremony, Taiko Japanese drumming, a visit to the ancient city of Kyoto, together with the opportunity to enjoy delicious Japanese dishes.

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The IN Director / Project Manager represented the Newcastles’ Secretariat, presenting to the Mayor, Vice Mayor and City Assembly Members, meeting local business people, educationalists and City Council staff, as well as helping to facilitate the conference.  We visited a Junior High School, where we were delighted to meet enthusiastic pupils, who were learning to speak English.  Everything combined to make a memorable experience.

We now look forward to feeding the results of the youth conference into the 20th year anniversary event of the Newcastles of the World, to be held in Shinshiro in October 2018.

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