AUS+RALLY Friends network growing

AUS+RALLY Friends network growing

After Kanagawa’s Odawara City joined as the first Friend of Australia, we’ve had a great addition of organisations and local governments join our Friends of Australia network across Japan. Check out the excellent relationships forged through Sport between Australia and Japan with our current Friends who have joined in June to August 2019.


Odawara, Kanagawa | Rugby
Odawara City will provide an important training base for the Wallabies leading up to the Rugby World Cup, and for the Australian Rugby Sevens teams ahead of the 2020 Olympics. The city has enjoyed a strong connection with Australia for nearly 30 years through an annual reciprocal language and cultural student exchange with Northern Beaches Council since a Friendship City Agreement was signed in 1991. Odawara city is a registered Host Town in the Japanese Government Cabinet Secretariat’s Host Town Initiative.


Fuchu, Tokyo | Baseball, Wheelchair Basketball

Fuchu City hosted training camps for Baseball Australia in 2018, and will host pre-camps for the Tokyo 2020 games. Fuchu City also hosted the Australian Rollers Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team in 2018, and hosted a pre-camp for the team in August 2019 ahead of the Mitsubishi Electronics World Challenge Cup 2019. To build on the relationships forged with Australia, Fuchu City will send a group of students for a homestay on the Gold Coast to build further understanding with Australia as part of their host town program. Fuchu City is a registered Host Town with the Japanese Government Cabinet Secretariat’s Host Town Initiative.

Nagaoka, Niigata | Swimming

Nagaoka City in Niigata Prefecture has been the home of the Dolphins, Australia’s Swimming Team since 2018. Nagaoka has world-class swimming facilities and will host pre-camps for both the Olympic and Paralympic Swimming teams in 2020. Nagaoka city hosted the Dolphins from 9-16 July 2019 ahead of the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea where the team won five gold, nine silver and five bronze medals. Nagaoka citizens were able to meet the Dolphins at a public practice event and school kids enjoyed swimming lessons with coaches and athletes. Nagaoka is a registered Host Town with the Japanese Government Cabinet Secretariat’s Host Town Initiative.

Club Australia | Rugby
Club Australia members can always be found flying the green and gold at Australian sporting events in Japan. Club Australia is a driving force organising local rugby exchanges for Australian schools visiting in Japan’s Rugby World Cup year. Club Australia also supports and promotes Australia and Australian culture at various venues and events

Gateway | Soccer
Gateway, a non-for-profit organisation supports youth soccer exchange with Australia, initially forged through the sistercity relationship between Edogawa and the Central Coast (NSW).

Saitama Prefecture | Judo
Saitama prefecture enjoys a long-standing sister state relationship with Queensland and a steady flow of student exchange visits, and not to mention koalas being gifted to the Saitama zoo on the occasion of the 30th anniversary. Saitama prefecture and Ageo city, Saitama have joined having forged an exciting partnership with Judo Australia, providing a welcome training base ahead of the 2020 Games and Judo World Championships. Saitama held one of the biggest “Tokyo 2020 1 Year to Go!” events last month with more than 500,000 people attending. Saitama Prefecture is a registered Host Town in the Japanese Government Cabinet Secretariat’s Host Town Initiative.

Ageo, Saitama | Judo

Ageo City hosts the Saitama Kenritsu Budoukan, where Judo Australia will practice ahead of the Judo World Championships 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Games. Partnering with Saitama Prefecture, Ageo City hosted the Australian Cadet team (15-17 years old) in January 2019 for a training camp, where the team enjoyed meeting local students. Ageo City created a sister city relationship with Queensland’s Lockyer Valley in 2016, but has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Lockyer Valley since 1994 through student exchanges. Ageo City is a registered Host Town with the Japanese Government Cabinet Secretariat’s Host Town Initiative.

Urayasu, Chiba | Rugby, Wheelchair Basketball

Urayasu City will host a critical Wallabies’ team camp during the Rugby World Cup 2019. Urayasu City also hosted the Gliders Australian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team ahead of an Exhibition Match between Japan and Australia at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza from 29 August to 1 September. This will be the second time the Gliders have trained in Urayasu City. Urayasu citizens had the opportunity to view public practice sessions and take part in workshops with the Gliders.

Ibaraki, Osaka | Hockey
Ibaraki city hosted the Hockeyroos, Australian women’s hockey team in 2018 and the Kookaburras, Australian men’s hockey team this August, at the Ritsumeikan Osaka Ibaraki Campus Field. On the occasion of the Kookaburras training camp, citizens enjoyed public matches with Samurai Japan, All-Japan Hockey team and Host Town events, including Hockey workshops for children. Ibaraki city is a registered Host Town in the Japanese Government Cabinet Secretariat’s Host Town Initiative.


Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan | Rugby, Sport Business
The Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ANZCCJ) is an independent, non-profit organisation that has been dedicated to the development of commerce between Australia, New Zealand and Japan since 1972. ANZCCJ develops business opportunities and relationships for its members through sporting related activities and creates opportunities for Australian and New Zealand companies to gain business from major sporting events hosted in Japan. By being a part of the AUS+RALLY campaign, this will align with ANZCCJ’s mission to play a constructive and meaningful role in developing Australia-Japan business through its sports-related events. Led by the energetic work of its Sports for Business Committee, ANZCCJ has a busy series of events lined up to celebrate the Rugby World Cup. Make sure to get your ticket to the ANZCCJ Rugby Charity Gala Dinner on 27 September (before the Wallabies take on Wales on 29 September in Tokyo).

Musashino, Tokyo|Rugby

Musashino City, Tokyo will host a Classic Wallabies match on 28 September ahead of the Tokyo Stadium Match (Australia vs Wales) on 29 September. The Classic Wallabies will play against the All-Japan Classic Rugby team, the second time Musashino City has hosted the Classic Wallabies.

This is the first time that the All-Japan Classic Rugby team will take to the field, competing against legendary Wallabies including former Captain Stephen Moore and Matt Cockbain. Spectators will be able to join players in a touch rugby session after the games, as well as meeting star players from both countries. Musashino City joined as an AUS+RALLY Friend of Australia in 2019.

Chuo, Tokyo|Paralympics Australia

Australian Paralympians in Tokyo Japan will have a home away from home in Chuo ward, Tokyo during the Tokyo 2020 games. Chuo ward and Sutherland Shire Council have a long-lasting sister city relationship which led to the signing of the agreement between Paralympics Australia and Chuo to provide a space where athletes can meet with their friends and family during the games. Paralympics Australia will conduct community engagement program in the lead-up to the games for the ward.


Tokyo Goannas|Australian Football

The Tokyo Goannas Football Club formed in 1991 and is the strongest and most well known Australian sporting team in Japan. The Goannas are the premier team in the Japan AFL (JAFL) Competition – having won the Championship trophy a record eleven times. The Goannas will have an Australian Sports Day when holding a match with fellow Japan league team, Komazawa Magpies. The Goannas along with AFL Japan provided Footy clinics at the Shibuya Friendship Festival on 25 August to celebrate 1 Year To Go to the Paralympic games.


Kanto District University Junko Baseball Association Baseball

Australia is where many Japanese baseball players come to play during Japan’s off-season, resulting in a steady flow of baseball exchanges between our two countries. The Kanto District University Junko Baseball Association has had an exchange with the Adelaide Bite Baseball Club since 2018, when 90 students travelled to Adelaide to compete with Adelaide Bite. In November 2019, three teams from the association will compete in Australia  and hold youth baseball clinics and workshops.