On November 24, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Los Angeles signed ｢an agreement on strengthening friendly relations｣ at Seoul City Hall, and Eric Garcetti, Mayor of LA, received honorary citizenship from Seoul.
After the exchanges between two cities on urban security, fire and disaster management, tourism, movies and sports, with the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s representatives’ visit to the U.S., on September 2014, Eric Garcetti made a return visit to Seoul to strike the agreement.
The Seoul City Citizenship Certificate is presented to foreign dignitaries, who have contributed significantly to the operation of the metropolitan city, and Laura Chinchilla Miranda, president of Costa Rica (’12), Guus Hiddink, former national soccer team coach of Korea (’02), Hines Ward, former U.S. football player (’06), are among those to have been recipients of the certificate.
Both cities had already signed an agreement on friendly relations in 2006, and the related agreement will go beyond the previous level of amity with the inclusion of practical statements engaging urban security, fire and disaster management, tourism discounts, culture, traffic, and the environment amongst other concerns. Also, when citizens from two cities visit each other, discounts will be provided when visiting cultural and tourist facilities.
With Hokkaido as the starting point, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will carry out a discount offer project involving cultural and tourist facilities in four cities, Tokyo, Jakarta, Delhi, and Taipei, and is slated to sign an agreement with Honolulu in Hawaii and San Francisco.
Park Won Soon, Seoul Mayor, said “As an honorary citizen, Eric Garcetti is expected to show more attention and support to reinforce the exchanges between our two cities, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government will forge closer ties with LA, the heart of culture and tourism, while facilitating urban diplomacy that will stretch out a helping hand to Seoul citizens.”