Keep Hyogo Cultural Centre Open and Protect the Hyogo WA Sister-State Relationship

Keep Hyogo Cultural Centre Open and Protect the Hyogo WA Sister-State Relationship

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May Sim started this petition to Governor Motohiko Saito (Hyogo Prefectural Govern)

Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre was established in 1992 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Hyogo and Western Australia Sister-State Relationship.  Sadly, although Hyogo Cultural Centre will celebrate its 30th birthday in 2022, the newly elected Governor of Hyogo has announced that the Centre will be closed at the end of March 2023 as part of cost cutting measures. This announcement has been met with shock, disappointment, sadness, and disbelief by people in WA, Hyogo, and supporters all over the world.

Over the years Hyogo Cultural Centre has established itself as a cultural hub of Japan offering the largest resource library of Japanese language and cultural materials in WA. The Centre offers Japanese conversation courses, runs a highly successful school visit program, coordinates the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in WA, offers a wide variety of cultural workshops and Japanese films, and provides a venue for many of the local Japan related groups, such as the Australia Japan Society of WA, Japanese Language Teachers’ Association of WA, JET Alumni, Sogetsu Ikebana Association, Bonsai Society of WA, and Nijinokai, to hold their meetings and run their events.

More importantly, Hyogo Cultural Centre is an essential link to WA Government, industry, and the local community when it comes to all Sister State matters. The Centre was the driving force behind the establishment of the Ako Rockingham Sister City Relationship, provides support to the WA Department of Education for the Hyogo WA Teacher Exchange and School Administrators Exchange, was the main facilitator for the Marathon Exchange and Banshu Fashion Textile Exchange, and was the integral connection to countless Sister School relationships. The Centre also welcomed interns annually from the University of Hyogo and Kobe University and coordinated a hugely popular Japanese Language Assistant program. In addition, two highly successful tours of WA citizens to Hyogo and the Kansai region were coordinated and led by Hyogo Cultural Centre.

The Centre focuses on people to people connections in trying to promote Hyogo and support the Sister-State relationship. The long-standing staff are passionate about the work they do and have established a rapport with the WA community that is greatly appreciated and supported. To say that the Members of the Centre, who range in ages from their early teens to late 80s and come from diverse cultural backgrounds, feel like family to the staff is certainly no understatement.

Just 18 months ago the Centre relocated to their new, beautiful premises in Tuart Hill thanks to the generosity of the WA Government. In addition, after working in intense heat for over a month, the staff and volunteers constructed a stunning a Japanese garden at the rear of the venue, which was opened just a few months ago. The financial and physical expense for this new Centre is to go to waste thanks to an unbelievable decision by the Hyogo Government.

Hyogo Cultural Centre is not only a huge asset to the people of WA, but also provides a window to Hyogo Prefecture and has contributed substantially to making the Hyogo WA Sister State relationship the huge success it is today. As a non profit organisation the Centre does not produce a huge amount of revenue, but the operating budget is also minimal as the Centre only employs two full time local staff and a part time accountant. 

For anyone, who has been part of a Hyogo WA Sister State event, who has visited Japan and specifically Hyogo Prefecture, who has a passion for Japanese language and culture, and who loves the little Japanese oasis right in the Centre of Perth, please speak up and don’t let the Centre be closed for the sake of a few dollars! 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!