Matsuura Ambassador Program

The Mackay-Matsuura sister city relationship was formed in 1989. This is a very active relationship with annual exchanges between students, and biennial citizen visits. More than 350 students from Matsuura have visited Mackay since the relationship commenced.

The relationship is a cultural one but was mainly founded on the common interest in coal - with ships coming from Matsuura to our region in the early days of the relationship.

Matsuura is a coastal city located on Japan's second largest island Kyushu in the Nagasaki Prefecture and has a population of around 25,500. The main industries in Matsuura are electricity production and fishing and coal from the Bowen Basin.  Coal is exported to Matsuura, and processed at the local power plant.

Over the years a warm and ever-growing bond has been developed between citizens of our regions.

Matsuura facts and figures

  • Population: Approximately 25,500.
  • Location: In the Nagasaki prefecture on the Japanese island of Kyushu.
  • Area: 130.37 km2
  • Industries: Matsuura has one of Japan's largest coal-fired power stations, an international trade port, a successful agriculture industry and a huge local fish market.
  • Religion: Buddhism and Shinto
  • City's flower: Rhododendron

The City of Matsuura amalgamated with the neighbouring towns of Fukushima and Takashima on 1 January 2006.

Sister Cities Mackay

The aim of this committee is to organise the Youth Ambassador Program for Mackay Students, along with the student visits from Matsuura.

The committee also organises many other events throughout the year, including an Australia Day Skype, the Drawing Exchange Program, a Speech Contest and Children’s Day.

Membership of the group is open to all residents in the region.  More information can be gained by contacting the Secretary at

The committee has also set up a Sister Cities Mackay Facebook page, to aid communication between Mackay and Matsuura - so that people can share photos and keep in touch.

Matsuura student visits

Every year Matsuura City sends a group of students accompanied by two or three chaperones to Mackay for approximately seven days. Mackay Regional Council arranges home-hosts and activities for the students whilst they are here.

Activities usually consist of time at local schools, visits to locals beaches and places of interest, a bush dance and art/craft workshops. Free time is allowed for the students to experience Australian family life with the host families.

The purpose of the visit is to strengthen our cities' ties and expose Mackay families and Japanese students with each other's cultures.

The students are aged between 13 and 17 years and council seeks host families each year. Family members over the age of 18 years must be holders of a Blue Card.

Citizen visits

Every two years a group of citizens from Matsuura visits Mackay for around three to four days. The citizens visit local attractions and have the opportunity of meeting up with old friends and make new acquaintances in the community.

On the alternating years, a group of residents from the Mackay region visits Matsuura. The citizens usually spend around three to four days in Matsuura and have an option to extend their visit in Japan.

30 Year Anniversary

2019 will mark our 30 year anniversary of our sister city relationship with Matsuura. A special celebratory Citizens Tour is already in the planning stage.

All past participants in Citizens Tours are invited and encourage to join us to make this year a truly memorable experience.