Medan City Committee

Hisrory, Purpose

The Republic of Indonesia is a developing country with a fast growing GDP. Medan City is the capital of North Sumatra. Medan City and Ichikawa City began collaborative interaction after 1984 and a Sister City Agreement between both cities met with unanimous approval at Ichikawa City Counsel in Sep. 1989 after many discussions between the two. Ichikawa City greeted a Medan City Delegation headed by their mayor on Nov. 1989 when they officially signed the Sister City Agreement.

Scenic sightseeing in Medan  Scenary of Medan, 1930
Medan developed rapidly after Dutch tobacco companies moved in during the 1860s and turned it into a prosperous town with products such as tobacco, rubber and tea. Belawan Bay is a major embarkation port of oil and an important merchant town now. Maimoon Palace and Mesjid Raya Mosque are historical places in Medan. Danau Toba (Lake Toba) and the surrounding suburb of Medan are known as scenic sightseeing areas.

History of both cities intercommunion
Youth intercommunication activities between the two cities are active. Ichikawa has sent a youth delegation to Medan 7 times and youth delegations have arrived from Medan 12 times. We cultivate mutual understanding of the differences in culture, history and customs through these activities. Two orangutans were donated in 1992 by Medan city and have since had two babies. The four orangutans are popular with visitors at the Ichikawa Municipal Zoo.

Current Medan City view Video
Enjoy historic buildings, Indonesian foods, fruits and traditional crafts.
Persons who have visited Medan before will be reminded of the nostalgic streets and friendly Indonesians.

Old Nostalgic Medan City View Video in 1930
It is showing the citizens of Medan in 1930s. There are scenes in the video, showing modern and well cultivated civilization. The nostalgic Maimun Palace and Mesjid Raya where the Ichikawa Citizen Delegation has visited are also being shown.

Main Activities

1) Donation of acoustic instruments for schools for hearing impaired children
The committee has been donating used acoustic instruments which were repaired before shipping to two schools for hearing impaired children in Medan as well as dispatching a doctor. This project saved many deaf persons in Medan but it is now in difficult situation due to the budget problem.
2) Donation of scholarship money
Scholarship money has been donated for long period to aid those children who are not able to go to school because of their unaffordable families. But unfortunately it is suspended due to the difficulty of fund-raising.
3) Project of disaster assistance
In December, 2004, Medan and its neighboring cities had enormous damages by big earthquake hit the Sumatra area. IIA exerted utmost effort to raise a fund from public and made monetary donation to Medan International Exchange Association.
4) Sending and receiving youth delegations
In 3 years, both cities youth delegations visit the city each other and stay in host families in summer.
5) Donation of Judo uniform
The committee collected used Judo uniforms from high schools in Ichikawa when high school students graduated and had no use of uniforms. They were shipped to Medan after cleaned up so that private Judo schools can re-use them

Danau Toba: Certified as a "Global Geopark" new

On July 9, 2020, the Indonesian government announced that Danau Toba in North Sumatra has been certified as a "Global Geopark" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This is the 5th case in Indonesia. Global Geoparks are areas designated by UNESCO to conserve areas with valuable geology and topography and utilize them as tourism resources. Danau Toba may have been visited by those who visited Medan City as Ichikawa Citizens' or a Youth Delegations. It is the world's largest caldera lake created by a huge eruption about 74,000 years ago, 4 to 5 hours by bus from the city.

Previous Events

Lecture Meeting "Flying in the sky" - the world of Pilot -

The postponed lecture by the committee chairperson Mr. Yutaka Kobayashi was held on July 18 with 10 peoplegathering at the International Exchange Lounge and 20 participants On Line(ZOOM).
Mr. Kobayashi was a pilot of Japan Air Lines and other airline companies with his flight-record of 17,500 hours during his 40 years career. He always reminded himself of passengers safety and have always been careful about keeping other airplanes
300meters above or below apart even when his airplane was on auto pilot.
He expressed the most impressive scenery from sky were the drift ice of Greenland, Butterfly Island (a butterflyshaped uninhabited island on the north side of Papua New Guinea which has a legend that makes him happy if he could see it), aurora and more.
Once he guided some passengers to the cockpit, but it was no longer possible due to the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001..
His lecture was concluded that he was very happy to be able to fly safely in the sky without any accidents nor medical crisis for 40 years

“Ichikawa Citizens visited Medan in commemoration of Sister City 30th Anniversary”  

A group of sixteen citizens visited the cities of Medan and Jakarta, from November 6 to 11. The Japanese cemetery where Japanese soldiers, who fought in the Indonesian war of independence are buried. This visit was made possible through the efforts of Mr.Haruo Umeda. We exchanged courtesies with 12 members of Medan City Exchange Association at a lunch gathering. In the evening, we were invited by the Consulate General of Japan for dinner. Consul General Ken Ishii and Mr. Musadado, acting mayor of Medan. celebrated the 30th Anniversary and pledged to strengthen the friendship between the two cities. In Jakarta we boarded the first Indonesian subway (MRT) , which was completed with the aid of Japan. On the departure day, we visited the National Museum of Indonesia and the historic sites in the Kota area.

Would you like to speak the Indonesian language? 

Prior to the departure of Ichikawa citizens’ group to Medan in commemoration of Sister-City 30th anniversary, an Indonesian language class was held on September 21, 28, and October 19. This class aimed to foster better understanding of the vibrant Republic of Indonesia not only for tour members but also for those who are interested in Indonesia. Our teacher was Ms Ica Sakai from Malang, East Java, who works at the Embassy of Indonesia in Japan. People practiced the conversation of using in usual daily life. And, she taught us how Indonesians live.

Visited Indonesian Embassy 

On August 23, we visited the Indonesian Embassy and were told by the Deputy Ambassador about the remarkable developments in Indonesia’s infrastructure, owing to Japanese technology, for the past five years. We also knew that President Joko became a member of the G20.Then, a counselor introduced the Kuala Tanjung Port as the second hub port from where fresh fruits and agricultural products will be exported to Japan. Furthermore,
it has become possible to send nursing care workers to Japan with specific skill visas, and Japanese learning is actively being conducted. After the visit, we enjoyed a taste of Indonesian cuisine at the Indonesian restaurant called, Cabe.

Ichikawa Youth visited Medan 

On August 12, a delegate composed of 8 Ichikawa high school students (male 2, female 6) was dispatched to Medan City, Indonesia. In Medan, they attended the Indonesia Independence Day Ceremony, visited Toba Lake, the local school (showing Japanese traditional culture such as calligraphy), and experienced wearing traditional clothes from North Sumatra. At the report meeting after returning home, they expressed their surprise at the differences in lifestyle, food culture, and the gap between the rich and poor, and reaffirmed the quality of life in Japan that they have taken for granted.

Official Delegation from Medan visited Ichikawa  

The official delegation from Medan, consisting of 17 people including Mayor Eldin, visited Ichikawa. In the evening of July 16, the commemorative ceremony for the 30th anniversary of the Ichikawa Medan sister-city affiliation and a welcome party were held. Both mayors greeted and exchanged courtesies, and Ichikawa presented them with fire protection clothing as 30th anniversary gifts. At the party, an all-female Japanese drum band called, “Tekona Daiko” welcomed the delegation. The following day of July 17, the Medan City Council members visited the House of Councilors in the National Diet building. Although we spent only two days together, we hope that Mayor Eldin’s message of “A broader field of interaction than ever before”, can be realized.

Going to see the Japanese musical of the theater company “en Juku” on April 2, 2019

It was a story of the mystery solution of the murder case, played by Indonesian. They were dancing with drums, flutes, and other japanese musical instruments, wearing colorful Kagura costumes made by themselves and putting on expressive Kagura mask.
The mission of “en Juku” is to be advertising Indonesia, not well known in Japan and the world.
The “ en Juku” students will become valuable human resources and will be responsible for the future of Indonesia. And we hope they will be bridges between Japan and Indonesia with their more fluent Japanese based on the further learn Japanese culture and history.

The general meeting of the Medan City Committee and the lecture of Mr. Hamada, a former Consul General of Medan 

At the meeting on February 24. 2019, the business result of 2018 was reported and introduced Mr. Hiroshi Kobayashi, the new chairperson, and Mr. Taeko Higuchi, the new officer.
Mr. Yuji Hamada, had a lecture, "Indonesia now". There were many opportunities for the Japanese technical assistance of using the Indonesia's rich resources, but Japan is facing difficulties caused by declining birthrate and advancing aging population. So he hoped that a lot of Indonesians come to Japan for working to develope the regional area and contribute to Japan. Even if politics changes, the citizen exchange is continuing for a long time. It is very wonderful that the exchange was lasting for 30 years beginning by the Mr. Kunio Takahashi, a former Mayer of Ichikawa.

Experiencing Arabic calligraphy 

On November 18, 2018, Dr. Fatyani Tarek from Syria, the representative of Japan in World Arabic Calligraphy Association, instructed us on Arabian/Islamic calligraphy which has a history of more than 1,000 years. There were many his art works created with colorful beautiful lines and letters on the wall of the Chuo Kominkan.
We wrote them using the shaved bamboo tip brush on a surface-coated paper. Characters are composed of golden ratios in every part of the letters, which became an aesthetically completed art work.
Dr. Tarek wrote each participant’s name in Arabic calligraphy. Participants brought home their names written in Arabic calligraphy by him as treasured souvenir.

Medan Youth Delegation to Ichikawa 

From Aug 21 – 30, a delegation of 9 students and 1 chairperson from Medan visited Ichikawa. They stayed at Omachi Shonen Shizen-no-ie on the first night, and at their host family houses for the rest of their stay. Their busy itinerary included Ichikawa City hall, Chiba University of Commerce, Kokubun High School, Tokyo Disneyland, Karuizawa and many more. Their most favorite place was TDL and their most favorite food was tempura.
IIA hosted a farewell party on Aug 29 with more than 90 attendees. Medan students performed a local dance with colorful costumes and we danced the New Olympic Ondo together.

Indonesian Foods Cooking  

We invited the school children of Japanese Language Class to the cooking class on Aug 4, 2018, at Niihama Elementary School. Sixteen children and teachers from India, Indonesia and China attended. The instructors were three Indonesian ladies. We cooked “ayam bakar”, grilled chicken with spicy seasoning, “sambal” and coconut milk drink, “es cendol”. Everybody was so happy that they could eat all the dishes. We also learned some tips for spending the hot summer, from an Indonesian - eating spicy food and drinking sweet coconut milk.

The committee general meeting, 2018

The committee general meeting was held at Satomi Park with cherry blossom in bloom on April 1. The gathered 15 people were consisted of expert members and fresh ones.
The theme of the meeting was "Let's mingle with the life and culture of Indonesians". We decided to improve Indonesian cooking classes and tea ceremonies that have been run for 3 years, and to plan program that can make us understand more about Indonesia. We expect the youth delegation from Medan this August and pledged our utmost effort to them so that they could make good memories of their staying.

Indonesian students’ theater company “en Juku”

We went to see the Japanese musical of the theater company "en Juku" composed of Indonesian students on March 29.
The program was called “Feast of the lord” which was written, directed and composed by Japanese teacher living in Jakarta, Sugako Kaikiri.
The story was that young and shy lord runaway from home and came into a playhouse where he could learn a family and society what they should be. En Juku members spoke clean and easy Japanese and even acted a polite man and modest women. Their performances of traditional performing arts such as Kabuki, Nagauta and Shamisen were superb.
In the following second part, they performed exciting song and dance with the music of "Dancing Indonesia".

The Tea Party No. 3, 2018

The committee held the 3rd tea party at Niihama Elementary School on February 17,
inviting children who belong to the Japanese Language Class and their parents. This program was planned two years ago for those children to experience and study Japanese culture.
There were two corners one of which was to enjoy served tea and another was to make tea by themselves. It was rather difficult for children to make their own tea but they tried hard and enjoyed.
We are looking forward to see another children next year.

Islamic World

On November 19, we invited Dr. Tarek Fatyani (33 years old Syrian) as a lecturer of “ Islamic World unfamiliar to the Japanese”.
Islam is now the largest religion in the world and in Indonesia, 88% of the population is believer of Islam and due to the large population Indonesia is the country with the most believers in the world. (202 million believers)
Islam is absolute devotion to the only God. Islam is to believe in the six pillars of faith ; Allah 'Only God', Angels, Prophets and Messengers, Islamic Holy Book, Last Judgement and Resurrection, and Predestination. Also the five pillars of faith act are Shahada(Faith), Salat(Prayer), Zakat(Charity), Sawan(Fasting) and Haji(Pilgrimage to Mecca).
Arabic calligraphy is a wonderful character refined over 1000 years to write beautifully the God's word "Koran" in Arabic. Dr. Fatyani wrote the words of the Koran with a choke on the blackboard “May God’s peace, mercy and blessing be upon you”

Vietnam Report

Mr. Masahiro Nishimura, chair of the Medan City Committee, has been living in Vietnam to teach Japanese language to high school students in Vietnam for about one year.
The relationship of Japan and Vietnam began 8th century, but under the isolation, policy of Tokugawa period, many Japanese went back to Japan and the Japanese town disappeared. Then Vietnam had a long period of French governance and became the current state by the conclusion of the Vietnam War. Now, scars of the Vietnam War still remain everywhere.
With the Doi Moi (renewal) policy aimed at opening up to foreign countries, the nation is rapidly developing.
The enrollment rate of school in Vietnam is 98% in elementary school and 42% in high school. High school female students wear uniforms of Ao Zai while male students wear black pants and white shirts. Many high school students go to school by motorcycle regardless of gender. Different form Japan, cash as a prize are given to students who have achieved excellent results in tests and exercises.
According to the OECD survey, the social status of Vietnamese women is ranked 33rd among 140 countries.

Enjoyed Matcha with foreign residents

On March 18, 2017, after the ceremony of completing the Japanese language class at the Niihama Elementary School, we had a tea ceremonies with 44 attendants including foreign adults and children from nine countries.
They liked a Manju printed a cherry blossom, saying it was pretty and delicious. But some of children gave up drinking tea as it tasted bitter. 
We are planning for children to make a tea by themselves in next year.

Ichikawa Youth Delegation to Medan City

As one of Ichikawa's youth exchange projects, the delegation consisting of seven high school students was dispatched to Medan City, Sumatra Province, Indonesia from August 15 to 25, 2016. Students experienced different cultures, environments and lifestyles from those of Japan, through school visits, Independence Day ceremony participation, traveling to Lake Toba with Indonesian high school students, farewell dinner hosted by the Mayor of Medan, home-stay and more. Those experiences will be valuable treasures for each student that would not be forgotten in their lives.

Indonesia Sweets Workshop

On July 30, 2016, a seminar to make Indonesian sweets was held at Niihama Elementary School. Although three Indonesian teachers wearing long-sleeved shirt, long skirt and veil were cooking as usual in a cooking room without an air-conditioner, we, Medan city committee members, could not be stopping to wipe sweat.
Today’s recipes were “Klepon”(a sweet potato ball with coconut powder) and “Lumpia Goreng” (fried spring roll ). We used Japanese food materials such as sweet potatoes, spring roll wrapping skins, rice noodles etc. and could make Asian dishes simply by adding Indonesian spices.
Children in the Japanese class were all happy with our dishes, saying very delicious.

Lecture “Did Jagatara Oharu spend a pathetic life?”

On November 18, 2016, Ms Hiroko Shiraishi, a researcher of modern cross-cultural exchange history, gave a lecture on the life of a half-blooded Jagatara Oharu (Jeronima Haru Marino) who was deported from Japan to Batavia based on Anti-Christian Edicts of the Tokugawa Shogun Era.
The lyrics of 'Nagasaki Monogatari' written by Mr. Saburo Umeki in 1939 reflected a miserable feelings of Oharu, remembering Japan from a far foreign country, but Ms.Shiraishi discovered the fact that Oharu was well educated and had happy marriage life with wealthy husband and seven children after examining old documents in Jakarta, Hirado and Nagasaki. Why did the songwriter write a pathetic lyrics? Ms Shiraishi guessed that the songwriter even in later years still had a subconscious mind that the banished woman should be pathetic.

How do you like Matcha ? 2016

On Mar. 19, 2016, the Committee held tea ceremonial party at Niihama Elementary School. This was the occasion of the completion day of Japanese language study class and 18 students and their chaperons from 6 countries, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Philippine, Kirghiz and Peru enjoyed the Matcha, Japanese powdered tea. Some of them tried to prepare a tea by themselves and they had a lot of fun.

Musical Performances of Angklung

On Jan. 24, 2016, at the stage of IIA’s New Year’s Festa, 22 members of Chiba Indonesian Society which included some CUC(Chiba University of Commerce) students from Indonesia played Angklung, traditional Indonesian bamboo xylophone.
Players, dressed in their Indonesian costumes, engaged the heart and mind of audiences with the gentle sound of Japanese and Indonesian tunes.

Youth Delegation from Medan visited Ichikawa 2015

8 young people from Medan visited Ichikawa from Jul. 31 to Aug.8, 2015 on their youth exchange program. During their stay, they could understand more about Japan through their experiences, playing dance and singing songs with Japanese High School students, Kendo matches which is Japanese art of fencing, dubbing Japanese on animation movie, decorating a wind-chime and living a day life with host family.
They left Japan with a lot of memories through surprising cross-culture experiences.

2015 The foods of Hari Raya

After the Islamic fasting month, the big festival ,Hari Raya Puasa, is starting.
Indonesia is the country of the biggest Islamic population in the world of Islamite. Islamites in Indonesia are the 90 percent of the population.
We wanted to enjoy Hari Raya Puasa like the Japanese New Year. So 18 members of Medan City Committee went to the Indonesian restaurant in Meguro to experience the foods of Hari Raya.
At first we tasted a sweet dessert. It is good for stomach after the fasting.
Next we tried the chicken with coconut, and the baking fish rapping banana leaf, and more.
All of us had their fill of the taste of Indonesian foods, with talking about sweet memories in Indonesia.

2015 Iftar

Ramadan(Islamic fasting month) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
It is from June 18th to July 16th this year. The Islamites are prohibited from eating and drinking anything during a daytime from sunrise to sunset.
They say, Iftar is the breakfast, which means the first meal after breaking fast every day during Ramadan.
The party of Iftar was held at Gyotoku I&I Hall on July 4th with over 500 Islamic people in Ichikawa, coming from more than eight different national origins. The tables were crammed with many delicious dishes from different countries and we were surprised at the bunch of dishes and its quantity. And we were surprised again that the eating areas were separated into male and female sections.
We strongly felt the necessity of understanding of the Islamic culture much more.

2015 The first social gathering with Indonesian

It was the first time that the social gathering with Indonesian living in Ichikawa was held at the Ichikawa Niihama elementary school on June 7.
There were 35 members containing 16 Indonesians.
The people of Indonesia introduced themselves and they talked about their jobs in Indonesia. The people of Japan talked about the personal involvements with Indonesia.
Although we were relieved to hear that Indonesians in Ichikawa are mostly satisfied with their lives in Japan, we came to know that they are worrying about what to do in case of emergency.
We recognized that IIA should offer much more specific information with regard to emergency measure.

2015 Indonesian Senior High School students visited Ichikawa Subaru Senior High School

Eighteen students in the first grade of Jakarta Al-Azhar Kelap Gading High School called on Ichikawa Subaru Senior High School on Apr.18. They came to Japan to learn Japanese language.
At first, the students of both schools studied Japanese and Indonesian culture and customs.
Then they enjoyed playing games and talked in English each other, sometimes using the gestures. Soon, they were getting to be intimate each other. The students of Ichikawa Subaru Senior High School performed songs of Disney Melody by the circle of mixed chorus and played vigorous march by the circle of the brass band.
We are glad to think that this event will be a suspension bridge between Japan and Indonesia in the future.

The official delegation and citizen group of Ichikawa visited Medan City

In commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of Sister City Affiliation, 6 members of official delegation and 20 citizens visited Medan City during Oct.14 to 19.2014. The party met Mr. Yuji Hamada, Consul General of Japan in Medan on the first day and had his lecture about Indonesia as its best, importance of technology investment and human resources development by Japan.
In this evening, Mr. Bayu Fadhlan, President of Medan Sister City Association, invited us to the dinner with the entertainments of traditional dances and songs by students dispatched to Japan before.
On the following day, the party made the official visit to Mr. Dzulmi Eldin, the Mayor of Medan, and the official delegation signed the exchange conference document, exchanged the souvenirs and joined the tree-planting ceremony of the tree called Matoa at the park of Ahmad Yani. At the dinner party hosted by the Mayor, all participants from Ichikawa and Medan confirmed the importance of active involvement of young generation from both cities in order to continue and enhance the good relationship between two cities which cultivated in past 25 years.

Indonesian Night

Medan City Committee held the special event “Indonesian Night” on Sep.13, Sat. at the Colton Hall of Nikke Colton Plaza. This special occasion commemorated the 25th Anniversary of Ichikawa and Medan Sister City Affiliation which began in 1989. The program began with the speech of Ms. Julia Silalahi, Trade Attache, the Embassy of Republic of Indonesia, Tokyo, who introduced the profile of Indonesia with her profluent-Japanese. Following the speech, dancers gorgeously dressed performed the dances of Bali which attracted more than 130 participants in the hall. Then, we seated and enjoyed Indonesian foods, chatting about experiences of travel to Medan, memories of life when worked in Medan, and more. Among those chats, it was so impressive to hear the memories of World WarⅡtalked by the aged gentleman.

Receiving the visit of Medan Official and Citizens Delegations for Ichikawa City in 2014.

8 members of Medan visited Ichikawa for attending the ceremony of both cities’ 25th sister city relationship anniversary. Paying a courtesy visit to Mr. Okubo, Mayor of Ichikawa, on 15th, they visited the Ichikawa Gakuen and presented thanks memorial goods to Mr. Masaichi Koga, Chairperson, who donated many judo uniforms to the judo school in Medan.
Next day, they went to Hitachinaka City and realized enormous damages by big Tsunami.
Afer returning to Ichikawa, the anniversary ceremony was held at the Ichikawa Zoo & Botanic Park. Praying friendship between Medan and Ichikawa, we planted Yohkoh cherry in front of the orangutan’s cage.
At the farewell party, about a hundred people of both cities gathered together, enjoying the Indonesian songs with playing mandolin and dancing , lead by the Minami Gyoutoku Hanagumi.

Visit for the Embassy of Republic of Indonesia, and the school of Republic of Indonesia, Tokyo in 2014.

25 members of IIA visited to the Embassy of Republic of Indonesia at Meguro on January 30.
Mr. Heryana, the Counsellor and secretaries explained us about Indonesia. We talked about the memories when we visited Medan City and the Medan youth delegation stayed in Ichikawa.
After we tasted the wonderful spicy Indonesian lunch, we visited the school of Republic of Indonesia, Tokyo. The students demonstrated Bunchakshirat which is similar to Japanese Karate and then we observed the students studying classroom.
It was so impressive for us to see that students were smart and their eyes were filled with full of hope.

Ichikawa youth delegation visited Medan in 2013

Ichikawa youth delegation visited Medan in summer of 2013 under youth exchange program. They stayed in host families and had a nice time to visit various places and exchange friendship with young people in Medan. The picture was taken on the occasion of youth exchange program.

Medan youth delegation visited Ichikawa in 2012

Medan youth delegation visited Ichikawa in August, 2012. This was under the youth exchange program which offers both cities youth delegation to visit each other in 3 years. They enjoyed visiting places like zoo and botanic park, pear fruit farm, Chiba Museum of Science & Industry and Subaru high school. At the zoo, they met orangutan family who were donated by Medan city.

Orangutans donated by Meden city

A couple of orangutans were donated by Medan city to Ichikawa city in 1992.
They had first and second child respectively in 2003 and 2010 and play their part in promoting friendship at the Ichikawa zoo and botanic park.

Ichikawa Int'l Exchange Assoc. (IIA)市川市国際交流協会

3rd Floor, 2-4-8 Yawata, Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan
Phone  +81-(0)47-332-0100
FAX    +81-(0)47-332-0101
email  info@iia21.jp
Lounge Hour 
: Thursdays, Sundays and National Holidays