In the early 1960s, following a written request from students of Daigo Junior High School (a Matsudo municipal school), the Australian Ambassador to Japan gifted 100,000 eucalyptus seeds to the City of Matsudo, to assist with tree planting and improve greenery in their city.
In 1969, the then Mayor of Box Hill, the late Cr Ron Gleghorn, initiated discussion between the Japanese Consulate and the Australian Embassy, with a view to establishing a Sister City relationship. The result was the formation of a relationship with the City of Matsudo, Japan.
Following a visit in June 1970 by the then Mayor of Matsudo, the late Mr Kiyoshi Matsumoto, the two cities formalised the affiliation with a ceremony in Matsudo on 12 May 1971. After the Sister City Relationship between the two Cities was formalised in 1971, visits between officials took place over the years to celebrate significant anniversaries, events/occasions. In July 1972, the eucalyptus was adopted by the City of Matsudo as their official international tree.
The City of Whitehorse was proclaimed in December 1994 with the amalgamation of the two former cities of Box Hill and Nunawading. Following the creation of the City of Whitehorse, A Memorandum of Understanding was developed in 1995 to give new life and a new direction for the Whitehorse-Matsudo Sister City relationship. The relationship was further strengthened in May 1996 (the 25th anniversary) when a delegation from Matsudo visited the City of Whitehorse and the Sister City Agreement was reaffirmed. Following the formalisation of the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding between Whitehorse and Matsudo, official visits to recognise and reaffirm our Sister City relationship have occurred at each five year anniversary: 2001, 2006 and 2012 (i.e. once every 10 years a delegation will visit Whitehorse and once every 10 years a delegation will visit Matsudo).
The former Box Hill Council was the first municipality in the state of Victoria, and one of the first in Australia, to establish a Sister City link with a Japanese city. Our Whitehorse-Matsudo Sister City relationship is the longest running Victorian sister city relationship, and one of the longest running in Australia.
May 2016 marked the 45th anniversary of the relationship with a visit to the City of Whitehorse by a delegation of officials and community members from the City of Matsudo. The Sister City Relationship was formally reaffirmed with a signed declaration by the Mayors of both Cities.