The AJS-Q has been involved with the Brisbane Kobe Sister City relationship since the signing of the Agreement in 1985.
Over the past 35 years AJS-Q Presidents and Committee members have worked closely with Brisbane City Council, Kobe City, Kobe Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Kobe Japan Australia Society to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes in the areas of business, education and cultural exchange. These relationships have also enabled Committee members to assist during times of natural disaster, in particular the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 and Brisbane Floods in 2011.
In 2008 the AJS-Q strongly supported broadening the scope of the Sister City relationship from cultural exchange and goodwill to include business and economic outcomes. AJS-Q Committee members with strong ties to Kobe assisted with the planning and participated in the first Brisbane Business Mission to Kobe in 2010, led by the then Deputy Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Graham Quirk. Committee members also participated in Lord Mayoral Business Missions to Kobe in 2012 and 2016. The Society has held seminars in conjunction with Brisbane City Council to assist Brisbane companies interested in business opportunities in Kobe and the Kansai region. It also established the Brisbane Kobe Bridge bilingual website to profile companies in Brisbane and Kobe. (The website is currently being updated.)
Prior to COVID19 Committee members regularly visited Kobe when in Japan and continue to maintain strong relationships in the areas of business, culture and education.
The President and members of the Executive Committee meet with and host visiting delegations, school groups and cultural groups from Kobe.
The Society maintains a watching brief over several Brisbane Kobe school exchange programs, including one of more than 40 years standing.
It has also has conducted art exchanges between schools in Brisbane and Kobe with works displayed in both Brisbane City Hall and Kobe City Hall.
AJS-Q & Kobe International Club (KIC) Brisbane Branch
The Brisbane Branch of the KIC was established in 2018 under the auspices of the AJS-Q. The aim of the Club is promote Kobe to the citizens of Brisbane, foster greater understanding and strengthen ties between the citizens of both cities. The AJS-Q and KIC’s ‘Visit Kobe’ Photographic Exhibition to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Sister City relationship was to have been held in Brisbane Square Library in July/August 2020. Unfortunately this was unable to proceed due to COVID19 restrictions.
Throughout 2020 the AJS-Q has promoted the 35th anniversary of the Brisbane Kobe Sister City relationship with monthly stories and images of iconic Kobe sites via the Society’s website and enewsletter.