In terms of employment, the service sector is the largest in Kobe, and employs 78% of the population. The industrial sector is the second largest at 21%, and the agricultural sector third largest at 1%. Much of the economy is based around the port, which is the largest in the region and the fourth busiest in Japan. Many corporations have headquarters in the city, including Mitsubishi Electric, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and Nestlé. Expatriates working in Kobe are usually employed in the service sector for a major corporation or as English teachers.
Expatriates wanting to work in Kobe will need a work permit. Work permits are only issued to foreigners that have already secured work in Kobe, and your prospective employer will need to support your application by providing a Certificate of Eligibility, which the expatriate will then use to apply for the work permit at their local embassy or consulate. Therefore work permits must be applied for before moving to Japan. There are twelve different types of Japanese work permits, each for a different kind of role, so check with your local embassy to find out which one you will need.
Expatriates living and working in Kobe will be required to pay both income tax and residential tax. Expatriates living and working in Kobe are put into one of three categories regarding income tax:
The income tax rates for 2015 are as follows:
Residential tax is income tax that is paid at a prefectural and municipal level, and adds around another 10% to your income tax bill depending on your personal circumstances.