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Rakuten signs agreement with Kobe to improve citizen services and develop region

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Rakuten Inc says it has signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Kobe City with the aim of improving services for citizens of the city and further developing the region.

Based on this agreement, Rakuten and Kobe City will promote cooperation and collaboration in the following six areas.

  1. Improving and promoting the attraction of Kobe

  2. Promoting inbound tourism

  3. Promoting the furusato nozei hometown tax program

  4. Providing support for human resource development in collaboration with universities and other organizations

  5. Contributing to the region through sports

  6. Further development of Kobe City, and other items

Rakuten opened its Kobe branch office in 2007, and has since worked to promote the Kobe brand and provide operational support to businesses in the city through its e-commerce services. Since 2015, Rakuten has also been involved in the management of J.League soccer team Vissel Kobe, which is based in Kobe City, and made efforts to promote the development of the region through sports. In June this year, Rakuten also concluded an agreement with Kobe City to offer citizens of the city more convenient library services by providing the Rakuten OverDrive digital library service. 

In the agreement, Rakuten and Kobe City will carry out a variety of initiatives aimed at expanding future opportunities for the young people of the city, including human resource development leveraging Rakuten’s experience in industry-academia collaboration, bolstering hospitality systems ahead of the expected growth in inbound tourism demand, and the introduction of the latest technologies through collaboration with the Rakuten Institute of Technology. Plans have already been drawn up with the Future Merchant Design Lab* of the Rakuten Institute of Technology to hold a student internship program aimed at tackling local issues in the city in 2019.

  • The Future Merchant Design Lab is a new research laboratory founded by the Rakuten Institute of Technology in May 2018 that focuses on research and experimentation for merchant systems that create next-generation purchasing experiences.
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