Day 6

2023 California Japan Clean Energy Trade Mission

Day 6 – Port of Kobe & Osaka-Sister State Farewell Reception

We met in the Hilton lobby shortly after 8:00 a.m. to head to the day’s first site visit.

Daikin Innovation Center

The group split into two with some delegates visiting Daikin’s innovation center for a tour, while others toured Iwatani’s HydroEdge facility.

Daikin Group Photo
Daikin Innovation Center art of the shadow of a running man.
Sarah Jo Szambelan, California Air Resources Board, and Nikki Ellis, CalChamber, inside the EMF-proof room at Daikin.
Iwatani HydroEdge

After having lunch at the site visit, the delegation departed for an hour drive to the city of Kobe.

We first arrived at the Port of Kobe and the delegation received a much-awaited boat tour of the port on a 125-foot ship.

The Port of Kobe, located at the foot of the beautiful Rokko Mountains, can be called the “port of the attractive sceneries.” Kobe city has become an international city resulting from the active port. Kobe Port is one of the world’s oldest ports, but also continues to modernize.

The Port of Kobe originally was an excellent natural harbor that flourished as the trading hub with China and the Korean peninsula during ancient and medieval times. Opened as a major Japanese international port in 1868, the Port of Kobe has supported many Japanese lives and industries since then, and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017.

We also received a briefing on the Port of Kobe hydrogen facilities.

Through initiatives such as the formation of a Carbon-Neutral Port (CNP) to achieve decarbonization through the utilization of hydrogen and other next-generation energy sources, the Port of Kobe will continue to develop as part of an international port city that adapts with the times.

Port of Kobe

The delegation then drove 15 minutes to The Okura Kobe Hotel to meet with Kobe city officials from the Kobe Environment Bureau, the Port and Harbor Bureau, as well as representatives from Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

Meeting with Kobe City officials.
Meeting with Kobe City officials.
(From left) Margaret Wong, President & CEO, McWong International; Secretary Karen Ross, CDFA; Dee Dee Myers, Director of GO-Biz; and Harumi Hata, Partner, Buchalter APC.

After the meeting, the delegation departed for the hour-long bus ride back to Osaka to prepare for the final evening’s activity.

Osaka, Japan

The trade mission concluded with a Farewell Reception at the Hilton Osaka to celebrate the Osaka-California sister-state relationship. The California-Osaka Sister-State Relationship was established in September 1994 with an Assembly concurrent resolution.

Sake barrel-breaking ceremony to commemorate the sister-state relationship.
Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (Torrance, 66) (left) presents the Assembly joint resolution on the California-Osaka sister-state relationship.










Osaka will hold Expo 2025 a World Expo organized and sanctioned by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE). It will take place for six months during 2025, opening April 13, 2025 and closing October 13, 2025. This will be Osaka’s third time as a World Expo host; it previously hosted Expo 1970 and Expo 1990. The event will return to its traditional five-year scheduling cycle after the Expo 2020 was delayed to 2021 and 2022 due to COVID. Approximately 28 million visitors are expected. The theme for the expo is “Designing Future Society for Our Lives.”

Osaka Sister-State Reception sake barrel-breaking ceremony.

The Osaka Prefecture government joined the California delegation for a celebratory sake barrel-breaking ceremony and a reception. The reception also included a performance of a traditional Japanese dance from the Osaka region. Together with the sake barrel-breaking ceremony, this made for a memorable final evening for the trade mission.

Our hosts included prefecture government officials together with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Osaka, and representatives from the U.S. Consulate General posted in the city.

The Farewell Reception concluded, and we all headed back to our rooms to pack for our return flights to California the next day.

View of Mount Fuji from the Shinkansen bullet train.