Photo by 663highland - Own work, CC BY 2.5
This year, Greater Seattle and Kobe, Japan celebrate 60 years of friendship. Established in 1957, Kobe is Greater Seattle’s oldest sister city. The Seattle Kobe Sister City Association has organized dozens of exchanges and events promoting mutual understanding and lasting friendships. The Cherry Blossom Festival, high school exchanges, and other events keep this relationship strong.
In celebration of our anniversary, the City of Seattle will be holding a Kobe Business Seminar to further develop partnerships between our two cities. Kobe’s Vice Mayor Toshiro Tamada will kick off the event. The event will also include a presentation by Eli Lilly Japan K.K., a US pharmaceutical company subsidiary that has experienced tremendous success in Japan. A presentation by 500 Startups will further outline their work in Kobe.
Known around the world as a technological powerhouse, Japan is home to a thriving economy that boasts a strong relationship with Greater Seattle and Washington State. Japan was Washington State’s third largest two-way trading partner in 2016, and second largest two-way trade partner for waterborne trade. Japan is also one of the top investors in Greater Seattle with over 50 US subsidiaries of Japan owned firms located in the region in areas ranging from distribution and logistics to composites and advanced manufacturing.
For more information about the Seattle-Kobe relationship and Washington State sister cities, visit