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Japanese City Twinned with The Shire

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The Japanese city of Sakai has signed a sister agreement  with The Shire.

Sakai has had a sister agreement with Wellington since 1994 so, as the studios for The Hobbit films are based in Wellington, officials from Sakai thought it would be appropriate to have an imaginary sister agreement with The Shire.  They approached Warner Brothers who agreed to the proposal reports ajw.asahi.com

Sakai Mayor Osami Takeyama said,

“Wellington (offcials) said it was an interesting idea. They also told me we should plan future projects together.”

Wellington City Council will mention the sister agreement at the world premiere of  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington on November 28.

Peter Jackson said in a statement

I understand that Sakai played an important role as one of the key ports in Japan back in the 16th century. They developed many traditional items that were introduced later, not only to other parts of Japan, but also to the world. I think it is an exciting opportunity for The Shire from the film to tie in with a place of such rich history and hope the people of Sakai can relate to the world of the hobbits.”

To celebrate the imaginary sister agreement, Sakai will hold a special exhibition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with pictures of the film and the characters on display. The exhibition will run from 8th to 20th December at the city hall and at the city’s traditional crafts museum.

The Japanese premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be held in Tokyo on 1st December

Follow Evie Bowman on Twitter @ eviebowman

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