Home to one of the first Japanese ports to open to foreign trade and blessed with great access to land, sea and air transportation, Kobe is an international city that has developed as Japan’s gateway to the world.
On January 17, 1995, Kobe was struck by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, which claimed the lives of 4,571 citizens and brought about unprecedented damage, causing a significant economic setback.
In order to revitalize the city’s economy after the earthquake, in 1998 the Biomedical Cluster Project was started to provide better social and healthcare services. Now, twenty years later, this biomedical cluster is the biggest of its kind in Japan, boasting various cutting-edge research and development institutions, and over 350 medical companies.
In recent years, Kobe has been getting progressively more involved in tackling global warming, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the city by 34% by 2030, in comparison to 2013. Kobe aims to achieve this goal by introducing various energy conservation initiatives, popularizing renewable energy sources and promoting the development of innovative technologies.
In a further bid to tackle climate change, the Kobe City Government is promoting the Hydrogen Smart City Kobe Initiative, which incorporates a pilot public-private collaboration project aimed to establish a liquefied hydrogen supply chain in order to import hydrogen to Japan from abroad. Spearheaded by HySTRA, this project receives support from the national government and works are in progress both in Australia and on the Kobe Airport Island.
Furthermore, in December 2019, the first liquid hydrogen freight ship in the world was launched at the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Kobe Works. In the fiscal year 2020, this ship will be put to test and bring liquefied hydrogen from Australia to Japan.
Finally, in addition to these ground-breaking initiatives, the Kobe City Government also strives to increase the number of fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fuelling stations in order to promote the use of hydrogen throughout the city.
The city is also implementing IoT and AI technologies to use energy more efficiently and is determined to take on new initiatives and tackle any challenges to become a low-carbon energy city.
Kobe is a vibrant yet compact city, ideal for the varying lifestyles of our citizens, and also one of the most comfortable cities in Japan for expats to settle in. Not far from the city’s downtown, you can find pristine beaches and majestic mountains, and Japan’s beautiful countryside is just a short 30-minute train ride away from the busy city.