Busselton-Sugito Sister City Relationship

The City of Busselton has enjoyed a Sister City relationship with Sugito, Japan since 1996.

This relationship is cultural with people from both towns enjoying community exchanges and annual school exchanges. On occasion special interest exchanges have also occurred such as the visit from traditional Japanese gardeners who established a Japanese garden in Busselton.

The Sister City relationship was reaffirmed for a further 20 years in a ceremony in 2016. You can view the Bridge of Friendship Booklet – A history of the Busselton Sugito Sister City relationship (2017) here.

About Sugito Japanese Garden, Busselton

Sugito town covers an area of 30sq km and has a population of approx. 45,500 (2016). It is a mix of rural and urban lifestyles and located in the north-eastern corner of Saitama prefecture, about 40 minutes north of Tokyo by train. Like Busselton, Sugito has a strong agricultural industry.


Much has been done to highlight the importance of this Sister City Relationship and there is a strong Japanese influence across the municipality, for example:

  • A large Japanese Elm Tree planted in 1997 to mark the start of the Sister City friendship with Sugito. The tree along with a commemorative plaque placed under it are located in the gardens of the City of Busselton Administration Building. This plaque and limestone block were relocated and refreshed as part of the new Administration Building garden refurbishment in 2018.
  • The Japanese Gardens gifted to the City of Busselton by the Town of Sugito, located next to the City of Busselton library.
  • A colourful mural depicting the Sugito Mascot, Sugipyon, on the Busselton Boulevard Shopping Centre in Prince Street, painted as part of the 20th Anniversary Celebrations in 2016.
  • A large gift display of items gifted to the City over the last 22 years housed in the Council Chambers Foyer at the Civic and Administration Building and open for public viewing.
  • Woodcuts gifted by Hiroshi Tomihari, a highly regarded award-winning artist and National Treasure of Japan. Some of these works are very significant and are also represented in major US & European Galleries.

BASSCAHarmony Day

The Busselton – Sugito Sister City Relationship is supported by the Busselton and Sugito Sister Cities Association (BASSCA). This volunteer organisation has operated for more than 20 years and is made up of community members with an interest in Japanese culture and language.  Find out more about BASSCA by viewing their website

BASSCA has primary responsibility for organising the annual Busselton - Sugito student exchanges and assists with the community cultural exchanges, run by the City. They also organise and promote Japanese-themed school holiday programs and participate in community events.

25th Anniversary Dinner

The 25th Anniversary Dinner was a celebration of the unique sister city relationship between the City of Busselton and the Town of Sugito. The 25th Anniversary celebrated in 2021 could not be celebrated with reciprocal visits due to Covid-19 but a Japanese themed celebratory dinner was held in Busselton and video messages exchanged  by the two municipalities. 

You can view two of the video messages from the Mayor of Sugito and the President of International Association below. 

Mayor of Sugito 

President of International Association

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