Tokyo is the capital of Japan. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu and Ogasawara Islands.
Originally a small fishing village named Edo, the city became a prominent political center of Japan when Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. When Emperor Meiji moved the imperial seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868, Edo was renamed Tokyo, literally "the Eastern Capital". The Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. While commonly referred to as a city, Tokyo is a collective entity of multiple smaller municipalities, including 23 special wards and various bed towns in the western area.
Data and facts
- Tokyo was formerly known as Edo in the 20th century. The name was changed to Tokyo in 1890 in light of the Meiji Restoration.
- As of 2019, the population of Tokyo was estimated to be over 13.9 million, making it Japan's most populous prefecture.
- The metropolitan area is the world's most populous with over 38 million people as well as the world's largest urban agglomeration economy.
- As of 2011, Tokyo hosted 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world at that time.
- The city ranked sixth on the Global Financial Centres Index of 2019.
- Along with an advanced economy, Tokyo often ranks high among the most expensive cities for expatriates.
- The Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower in the Shiba-Koen district. It was originally inspired by the Eiffel Tower, hence their similar appearance.
- Tokyo has the most top-rated restaurants in the world.
- Tokyo’s Ritz Carlton is home to one of the most expensive suits in the world. The room, designed by Frank Nicholson, costs £15 500 GBP per night.
- There are more than 35 million residents in Tokyo that makes it largest and busiest metropolitan area in the world.
Tokyo prefecture has 23 special wards in an area of about 621 square kilometers. Tokyo has an administrative structure unique among the prefectures of Japan. It is officially designated as a "metropolis". Although it generally resembles a prefecture, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government also offers partial city government functions to the 23 special wards included in the heart of Tokyo. In addition to the special wards, Tokyo administers twenty-six suburban cities to the west, and a number of small islands in the Pacific Ocean. The Metropolitan Government's main offices (Tochō) are located in the Shinjuku Ward.
Japan’s economy, the third largest in the world behind the United States and China, grew at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent in the second quarter of 2019, according to data released on Friday by the country’s cabinet. The figure exceeded economists’ expectations, which had been tempered by slowing global demand. The results followed a growth spurt in the first quarter, at a revised rate of 2.8 percent, a phenomenon that many economists saw as a statistical fluke stemming from a drop in imports that enhanced the bottom line.
The Tokyo region is Japan's leading industrial center, with a highly diversified manufacturing base. Heavy industries are concentrated in Chiba, Kawasaki, and Yokohama, while Tokyo proper is strongly inclined toward light industry, including book printing and the production of electronic equipment. More significantly, perhaps, Tokyo is Japan's management and finance center. Corporations with headquarters or branches or production sites in other parts of the country often have large offices in Tokyo, Marunouchi being the location of many of these. The close relationship between government and business in Japan makes a Tokyo location advantageous if not necessary.
Japan has a highly developed physical infrastructure of roads, highways, railways, subways, airports, harbours, warehouses and telecommunications for distribution of all types of goods and services. Japan has a very advanced and well-maintained infrastructure, which undergoes regular upgrading and expansion. Both the private and public sectors undertake various infrastructural projects and operate their respective services.
As a country surrounded by water, Japan has developed a very extensive and modern sea transportation system which includes many ports and harbors. Japan benefits from a modern and extensive air transportation system. Its telecommunication system is very advanced as well. It consists of private and public service providers, but a public company, Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT), is the largest provider, controlling about 95 percent of fixed telephone lines.
Japan is committed to being the very first country to prove that it is possible to grow through innovation even when its population declines. Japan is rapidly moving toward “Society 5.0”, adding a fifth chapter to the four major stages of human development: hunter-gatherer, agrarian, industrial and information. In this new ultra-smart society, all things will be connected through IoT technology and all technologies will be integrated, dramatically improving the quality of life.
To realize this new era, the Government of Japan is doing everything it can to encourage various players, including start-ups and “hidden gems” among small- and medium-sized enterprises, to come up with brand-new and innovative ideas, to provide the world with solutions.
Social Wellness and Human Resources
The basic school system in Japan is composed of elementary school (lasting six years), middle school (three years), high school (three years), and university (four years). Education is compulsory only for the nine years of elementary and middle school, but 98.8% of students go on to high school. Students usually have to take exams in order to enter high schools and universities. Recently some middle and high schools have joined together to form single, six-year schools.
Health care in Japan is, generally speaking, provided free for Japanese citizens, expatriates, and foreigners. Medical treatment in Japan is provided through universal health care. This system is available to all citizens, as well as non-Japanese citizens staying in Japan for more than a year. The standard of medical treatment in Japan is extremely high. People born in Japan have the longest life expectancy of any country in the world. Although not many Japanese practice medicine (studying medicine in Japan can be very expensive), Japan has excellent hospitals and clinics, and because it is the world's leading country in technology, offers highly technical, state-of-the-art equipment. Students can be confident in the proficiency of medical treatment in Japan.
The communications media of Japan include numerous television and radio networks as well as newspapers and magazines in Japan. For the most part, television networks were established based on capital investments by existing radio networks. Variety shows, serial dramas, and news constitute a large percentage of Japanese evening shows. Western movies are also shown, many with a sub-channel for English. There are all-English television channels on cable and satellite (with Japanese subtitles). Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Line, are the leading used media platforms in the Japanese industry. Statistics show that Facebook use in Japan is at 47.75%, Twitter use is at 19.33%, YouTube use is at 13.9%, Pinterest use is at 10.69%, Instagram use is at 4.93%, and Tumblr use is at 2.29%.
Japan can be considered fairly athletic in that there is a lot of interest with different sports. Soccer and baseball are arguably the most popular sports in Japan, and one of the most widely watched. However there are so many more sports and activities, many of them traditional to Japan that are still praticed even today. There are also many modern spins on traditional sports as well as sports that have been influenced by others.