U7 International Activities

Cooperation with International City Networks

The Japan Designated Cities Mayors Association (JDCMA) is active within the Urban7 (U7) framework, and is working in collaboration with the urban coalitions of G7 nations. Through our activities, the Association aims to promote the important role of cities in addressing environmental, economic, and energy issues. Urban7 urges national governments to listen to the views of cities when making policy decisions.


Attending the G7 Sustainable Urban Development Ministers’ Meeting in Takamatsu, Kagawa (as a U7 Group Representative)

Mr. Kizo Hisamoto, Chair of the Mayors Association of Designated Cities (and Mayor of Kobe City), attended the G7 Sustainable Urban Development Ministers’ Meeting in Takamatsu, Kagawa—held July 7 to 9, 2023—as the representative of the 2023 U7 Group.

Opening session

Chair’s address

Photo session

(Photos courtesy of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)

Meeting Overview
(1) Date and location

Date: July 7 (Friday) – July 9 (Sunday), 2023
Location: Kagawa International Conference Hall (Takamatsu Symbol Tower, Tower Bldg. 6F, Sunport 2-1, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa)

(2) Summary of chair’s address
  • Cities have the unique potential to develop and implement innovative urban development approaches and to realize tangible improvements and sustainable living environments for citizens. To do this, however, requires the adoption of “multi-level governance” that allows local governments to formulate and finalize policy decisions on equal footing with national ministries and agencies.
  • With that in mind, the mayors of the Urban 7 (U7) Group gathered in Tokyo in March 2023 to formally adopt the U7 Mayors Declaration. Since then, the mayors have been communicating and working with various national ministries—including the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism—to ensure input from cities is being considered in G7 discussions.
  • I would like to express my gratitude for incorporating the ideas behind the U7 Mayors Declaration and the roles and importance of cities in addressing global issues as well as for promoting multi-level governance in the official proclamations and other statements adopted during this meeting.
  • We believe that one of the key roles of cities is to encourage citizens to actively address issues in their surrounding areas, and that encouraging citizens to take action on shared issues will help minimize and prevent division and conflict in communities.
  • In a sense, the G7 Sustainable Urban Development Ministers’ Meeting in Takamatsu, Kagawa, is the very embodiment of multi-level governance, and we hope that this trend will be continued in next year’s meeting in Italy.
  • As for the U7, we will continue our contributions to addressing global issues facing the G7 countries.

The JDCMA hosted the 2023 Urban7 Mayors Summit on March 2, 2023, in collaboration with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM). This year’s summit was the first Urban7 Mayors Summit held as a hybrid face-to-face and online event.
The 2023 U7 Mayors Declaration was presented at the meeting, and the following were defined as the U7 Group’s top priorities for 2023.

  1. Local governments as custodians of peace and democracy
  2. Sustainable urban development as the engine for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and facing the global climate emergency
  3. Role of cities in disaster preparedness, response and resilience
  4. Engaging the U7 Group as an emerging actor in multilevel governance and urban diplomacy

2023 U7 Mayors Summit-Agenda and participant list

2023 U7 Mayors Declaration

At the end of the meeting, Kizo Hisamoto, Mayor of Kobe City (President, The JDCMA); Peter Kurz, Mayor of Mannheim (Germany, GPM); Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener (Canada); and Jeni Arndt, Mayor of Fort Collins (USA) presented the declaration to Hideyuki Nakano (Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office), Akira Yanagimoto (Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of the Environment), and Yasushi Furukawa (Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism).


On May 3, the 2022 Urban7 Mayors Declaration was adopted at the Urban7 Mayors Summit 2022, which was held in Germany by the host nation’s urban coalition the Association of German Cities, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, and the Global Parliament of Mayors.
The Chair of the JDCMA, the Mayor of Kobe City Kizo Hisamoto, attended as Japan’s representative. He stated that, “As was the case in the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, large cities can no longer function merely as administrative institutions that only implement national policies. Major cities, as leaders of cities, must proactively work toward the realization of a sustainable society, including taking measures to combat climate change, protect biodiversity, and eliminate intergenerational inequalities, all while cooperating and collaborating with the national government.” Chair Hisamoto also expressed his full endorsement of the Declaration.

2022 Urban7 Mayors Declaration


On June 7, the inaugural G7-U7 Urban Summit was held in the UK by the host nation’s urban coalition Core Cities UK. The then Chair of the JDCMA, the Mayor of Yokohama City Fumiko Hayashi (with the Deputy Mayor Kobayashi of Yokohama City as proxy) attended and participated in compiling a joint statement.

2021 G7-U7 Urban Summit Joint Statement

G7 U7 Website


Links to the coalition organizations of G7 member nations