Ito Hanten of Japan has dedicated himself to promoting the friendship between Toyohashi, a city in central Japan and Nantong City in Jiangsu Province since his first visit to Nantong in 1984.
A respectable Japanese man, Hanten has visited Nantong for more than 80 times and regarded this place as his second hometown. He is also the first "Honorary Citizen" of Nantong and one of Jiangsu’s "Outstanding International Friends". Before leading a delegation to visit Nantong in July 2015, he wrote in his personal letter to Nantong Foreign Affairs Office that that trip might be the last one in his life due to his advanced age.
Hanten said he feels shocked by the great strides made in Nantong. It took him 11 hours by boat from Nanjing to Nantong in his first visit, but the city today has easy access thanks to the well-developed transportation network of expressways, high-speed trains, and air routes.
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