Minami, Japan

About Minami (formerly Hiwasa)

The relationship with Hiwasa began with an interest by the Mayor of Hiwasa in the movement of the Loggerhead turtle, and Cairns sending a species of the turtle to the Hiwasa museum for display.  The agreement was signed on 1 April 1969. A second agreement was signed with Minami on 1 October 2007.

Reciprocal visits between students and the community continue, due largely to the contribution of the Australian Japan Society Cairns. To mark the 45th anniversary of the agreement in 2014, the Mayor of Minami, Kageji Nobuyoshi, visited Cairns and attended the National Sister Cities Day celebrations. He was accompanied by Director of Minami Council, Kizato Shigeki, Head of the Board of Education, Terauchi Yasuhiro, Deputy Chairman of Minami Council, Atsuhiro Mukohyama, Councillor Terashita Hiroko, and Kawanishi Hisanobu from the General Coordination and Policy Planning Department.


Hiwasa was a town located in Kaifu District, Tokushima, Japan.  On 31 March 2006 Hiwasa was merged with the town of Yuki, from Kaifu District, to form the new town of Minami. Located 50km south of Tokushima city, Minami is over 33km from east to west, and covers an area of approximately 140.8km2. It is bordered on the south-west by the Kaifu mountains and on the east by the Pacific Ocean, making Minami a scenic town surrounded by mountains and sea.


The population of Minami is about 6,500 (2018); Japan 126.5 million.


The climate of Tokushima Prefecture is relatively mild, but varies due to its north-south length of 100km. The northern area, including Tokushima City, features the warm and dry Setonaikai (inland sea) climate with annual precipitation of less than 1,500 mm. The southern area with its beautiful coastlines features the warm and wet Pacific Ocean climate. The alpine area of the Shikoku Mountains with Mount Tsturugi in the centre features the cold and wet Sea of Japan climate (mountain climate). It sometimes snows in the winter.

Local time

The local time of Minami is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +9 which is the 2 hours behind Cairns.

Sister City agreement

The first agreement with Hiwasa was signed on 1 April 1969. A second agreement was signed with Minami on 1 October 2007.

The original proclamation of 1 April 1969 reads

'The city of Cairns, Queensland Australia and the City of Hiwasa, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan, sincerely desire to promote mutual friendship and shall strive for sister exchanges in fields ranging from culture to commerce.  Through this Agreement the two cities strive for closer friendship and understanding between the nations of Australia and Japan and believe that their efforts will contribute to the peace of the whole world.  On this first day of April 1969 we pledge our cooperation as sister cities.'

The second agreement, signed on 1 October 2007, reads

'The cities of Cairns, Queensland in Australia and Minami, Tokushima Prefecture in Japan hereby signal their intent to establish lasting and friendly relationships for formally entering into a Sister City relationship.

They agree to promote economic, educational, cultural and sport exchange to generate mutual understanding and goodwill, leading to a better life for their citizens.

Through this agreement they will:

  • Communicate with one another on a frequent and continual basis to strengthen their links, always responsive to the special needs and requests.
  • Identify and implement projects that will provide specific, meaningful contributions to the health, welfare and prosperity of the people of Cairns and Minami.
  • Regard the officials and citizens of one another's city with utmost respect, friendship and goodwill.'

Sister City activities for Cairns-Minami

  • 2019   Minami mayoral delegation visit -  ceremonial tree planting with Mayor Bob Manning at Centenary Lakes
  • 2019   Minami students visit Council in August
  • 2018   Minami students visit Council in August
  • 2017   Students and teachers from Hiwasi Junior High School and Yuki Junior High School (Minami) visit Cairns in August.
  • 2017   Mayor of Minami and several delegates visit Cairns in April, meeting with Mayor Bob Manning and attending the Anzac Day ceremony with Cairns Sister Cities Ambassador Sim Hayward.
  • 2016   Cairns Sister Cities Ambassador Sim Hayward visits Minami in November.
  • 2016   Minami students visit Council in August
  • 2015   Minami students visit Trinity Bay High School in August
  • 2014   Chair of Cairns Sister Cities Advisory visits Minami in April
  • 2014   Two students from Minami travel to Cairns as part of the Youth Ambassadors Program
  • 2014   Visit in July by delegation headed by Mayor of Minami, Kageji Nobuyoshi
  • 2012   Minami Deputy Mayor Kazuhide Yamaji and Mr Hisanobu Kawanishi visit Cairns
  • 2011   Cairns Sister Cities Advisory Committee members and Australia Japan Society members, Mr Jeff Haynes and Mrs Makoto Kamatani Haynes, visit Minami
  • 2011   Minami Junior High School students visit to Cairns
  • 2011   Youth Ambassadors attend program in Cairns
  • 2010   Minami participates in Fibres of Life textile exhibition displayed in Cairns
  • 2009   Rebecca Coxon, Trinity Anglican School student exchange visit to Minami
  • 2009   Councillor Di Forsyth visited Minami for 40th Anniversary celebrations
  • 2009   Minami participated in the Cairns "Face of a Sister City" photographic exhibition.
  • 2008   Minami participated in "Earth Links" Ceramics Exhibition and a delegation visited Cairns.

More information

Last updated: 16 June 2020