International programmes involving cultural and trading links are some of the earlier vehicles through which Japanese SNGs began to connect themselves directly with the international community, bypassing the official involvement of the central government. This chapter focuses on the two most egregious types of international exchange programmes that Japanese SNGs pursue: sister-city relationships, and the JET programme. It reveals how the programmes generally stimulate considerable international goodwill for Japan and sometimes lead to more explicitly instrumental international linkages through the personal connections they cultivate. SNGs have connections, ability, willingness and status that position them better than central government actors to pursue grassroots international linkages. Many of Japan’s SNGs take pride in their historical links with cities and regions abroad and the historical connection sometimes serves as the main reason for forging contemporary bilateral relations.