• Kyodo

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A Japanese village and a French village, each relying on “love” to boost their economy, formed a sister-city relationship during a signing ceremony in Paris on Friday.

The village of Sagara, Kumamoto Prefecture, which calls itself a “village where people can get along well with each other,” joined hands with the French village of Saint-Valentin.

Sagara Mayor Masaomi Tokuta said he hopes the two villages can “deepen exchanges themed around love.” The two Chinese characters making up the name of the village, which has a population of some 4,500, can also be interpreted as meaning “good chemistry.”

Pierre Rousseau, mayor of Saint-Valentin, a village with a population of some 300 where many couples gather every Feb. 14 on St. Valentine’s Day, said he agrees with the Sagara’s stance in developing its community.

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