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Kobe, Japan

Sister City Agreement Signed October 17, 1986

Kobe, Japan has been partnered with Philadelphia since 1986.  Situated between the lush Rokko Mountains and the blue Seto Inland Sea, Kobe is a port city that is well known for its fashion industry. In 1995, a terrible earthquake ravaged Kobe.  Since that time, the city has made much progress in rebuilding its buildings and infrastructure.  Please visit the link below to see their impressive Medical Industry Complex, a multi-million dollar initiative to rebuild Kobe's economy through the medical sector.  With a population of 1,511,335, Kobe is comparable to Philadelphia in size. Kobe is also a city of diversity, with 43,000 foreign residents from 106 countries.  It is in the process of building an airport, but the Kansai International Airport is just 25 minutes away in nearby Osaka.  Other major cities, such as Kyoto and Tokyo, are easily accessible by train.

Philadelphia's Sister City Program is pleased to work in partnership with th
e Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia on projects for the Kobe-Philadelphia relationship. 

In November 2011, Vice Mayor Saburo Nakamura visited Philadelphia with the Vice Chairperson of the Kobe City Assembly and officials to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Sister City relationship.  Their schedule included a visit to University of Pennsylvania, meeting with Epitek, Inc. at the Science Center, a reception at Dilworth Pasxon, LLP and dinner at the Union League hosted by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia.  Mayor Nutter also met with them in the Mayor’s Reception Room where they exchanged gifts.


In addition to city officials, five high school students and two teachers visited and had homestays with students at Bodine High School.  They attended classes and also enjoyed a city tour.  According to Matthew DeSoi, our liaison at Bodine, one of the highlights of their program was the student assembly.  It consisted of the Kobe students providing information about their city and doing a choreographed dance to a very popular Japanese music group.

Photos of past Kobe delegations are below.