On 24 March 2022, the City of Yokohama organized an online business seminar for German companies entitled 'YOKOHAMA, THE FUTURE MOBILITY HUB'. Led by the City of Yokohama Europe Representative Office and with the cooperation of the JETRO Düsseldorf Office and others, the seminar promoted innovation cooperation in Yokohama and the attractiveness of Yokohama as a destination.
The seminar began with opening remarks by the Mayor of Yokohama, Mr. Takeharu Yamanaka. He highlighted Yokohama's vibrant open innovation climate, with a concentration of global corporate headquarters and R&D centers, and introduced the educational and living environment, including the German School of Tokyo Yokohama. He also mentioned that more than 50 German companies are active in Yokohama and called for more companies to come to the city.
Next, Mr. Klaus Meder, president and representative director of Bosch Corporation, gave the main speech. The company is the Japanese subsidiary of one of automotive equipment suppliers, headquartered in Germany, which started operations in Yokohama over 110 years ago. Mr. Meder mainly gave a presentation on the Bosch group's first public-private partnership project in Tsuzuki Ward, Yokohama, which involves the construction of a new research and development facility and the Tsuzuki Ward Cultural Center (tentative name), and introduced the plan to relocate the company's headquarter’s function from Shibuya, Tokyo. He also said that Yokohama is the ideal place to create new innovations, with its rich technology, infrastructure, human resources and educational environment, and that he would like to work with the City of Yokohama for another 100 years.
This was followed by presentations of Mr. Takehiro Kuribayashi, Director of the Yokohama Europe Representative Office, and Mr. Dai Ueda, Director of the JETRO Düsseldorf Office. They introduced recent developments in Yokohama, such as the situation of industrial clusters mainly in the mobility sector and demonstration tests of automated driving. They also emphasized that JETRO has offices in three locations in Germany and Yokohama and works as a team with the City of Yokohama to support German companies investing in Japan.
Around 60 people attended the seminar. The Europe office in Frankfurt will continue to make contact in the future, to help them realize their expansion into Yokohama.