In August 2015, a new staff member from the Netherlands, which is home to Koriyama City’s sister city Brummen, joined our department. He is good at Japanese, English and Dutch, so he will be a great asset for the International Policy Division in promoting Koriyama City in- and outside of Japan.






Hi! My name is Joost Kralt, and I work as a Coordinator for International Relations at Koriyama City Hall’s International Policy Division. I’m from Sassenheim, a small town in the Netherlands, the country with which Koriyama has a very special relationship.

Koriyama’s history with the Netherlands goes back to the nineteenth century, during which time a Dutch civil engineer greatly contributed to the project which laid the foundation for Koriyama as we know it today: the Asaka Land Development and Asaka Canal Works’. Through this man, called C.J. van Doorn, Koriyama also gained its Dutch sister city of Brummen. Of course, I could never match what Van Doorn means for this city, but I feel proud to work and live in the city he helped develop.

In the Netherlands I studied Japanese language and communication studies at the Zuyd University in Maastricht, and participated in two exchange programs: five months at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, and four months at the Japan Foundation Kansai International Center. After working for a Japanese company in Amsterdam, I enrolled at Leiden University for a Masters in East Asian Studies, during which time I also did a short internship at the Dejima Restoration Office of Nagasaki City Hall. I moved to Koriyama to work at City Hall starting August of 2015, it being the first time for me to live in East Japan.

Working at the International Policy Division I have had a great number and variety of activities and experiences so far; from supporting Koriyama City’s activities as a Host Town for the Netherlands in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, translating correspondence and tourism materials, to joining Koriyama’s mascot Gakuto-Kun to visit pre-schools. One of my main focusses is the English language newsletter, which I edit and distribute, called ‘EiGo Koriyama’ (LINK). Through this, I hope to provide English-speakers in Koriyama with information about the city and events. It’s also a good way for myself to stay on top of the latest news and goings-on in Koriyama.

Finally, I give speeches at local schools or other organizations on request about the Netherlands, Dutch-Japanese history, and the importance of international- and intercultural communication. Especially after the 2011 disaster, I think it’s important for the world to know about Koriyama and its amazing people, which makes international and intercultural communication more important than ever.

I enjoy life and work in Koriyama, and hope to meet many more fun, kind and interesting people during my time here! Bedankt, Koriyama! (Thank you, Koriyama!)



19世紀の後半、オランダの水管理技師「C.J. van Doorn」(ファン・ドールン)が明治政府に「お雇い外国人」として雇われ、郡山市の発展の基礎となった「安積開拓と安積疏水開さく事業」に大きく貢献しました。それがきっかけで、1988年にファン・ドールンの出身地「ブルメン市」と姉妹都市の締結をし、郡山市とオランダに友好関係が築かれました。ファン・ドールンの功績には及ばないと思いますが、郡山市役所に雇われたオランダ人として私もある意味で「お雇い外国人」とは言えるでしょう。




郡山での生活はとても楽しくて、これからもたくさんの優しくて面白い郡山市民に会い続けたいと思います。Bedankt, Koriyama! (郡山市、ありがとうございます!)



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