Tokyo has an enormous economy. Service industries, including wholesale and retail trade, finance, and insurance, made up the largest sector of the economy; services accounted for 72 percent of Tokyo's labor force in 1990. Manufacturing dominates the secondary industries category and comprises about 20 percent of Tokyo's total labor force. Jobs in transportation account for most of the other secondary employment.
Tokyo is especially important as the headquarters for most private companies in Japan, as well as the nation's center for finance, government, communications, and education. It also has the highest concentration of foreign companies doing business in Japan.Tokyo has an enormous economy.
The focus of Tokyo's service economy is its downtown central business district. This district is fairly large, with many office buildings and businesses located near the grounds of the Imperial Palace. There are other important commercial centers outside the central business district at key interchanges of commuter rail lines. The largest of these so-called subcenters is Shinjuku, located on the west side of the heart of the city in Shinjuku Ward. Most of Tokyo's tallest buildings are located here in a planned district of office and hotel towers called New Shinjuku City Center.
The city's largest manufacturing establishments are concentrated along the shores of Tokyo Bay. Here, extending from Tokyo to Yokohama, is the Keihin Industrial Region, the largest industrial complex in Japan. This district produces nearly one-fifth of the nation's total manufactured goods by value. It depends heavily on imported raw materials, and includes sprawling steel mills and shipyards, oil refineries, petrochemical manufacturers, and various assembly plants. There are many different products, including steel, chemicals, machinery, lumber, textiles, cameras and optical goods, electronic equipment, food products, and a wide variety of other consumer goods.
There is also considerable manufacturing near the heart of Tokyo, particularly in older sections of the city close to the Sumida River. Manufacturing plants in the urban center are mostly small. In 1985 about 46 percent of the more than 93,000 manufacturing plants in Tokyo Metropolis employed only one to three people, while an additional 36 percent of factories had only four to nine workers. The largest category of manufacturing in Tokyo is printing and publishing, accounting for about 20 percent of all factories in the metropolis and nearly 22 percent of the manufacturing labor force.
Much of the street pattern of Tokyo dates to historic times and is made of narrow, crooked lanes that are unsuitable for heavy use by automobiles. The radiating highways and expressways that were put in to modernize the road network are usually badly overcrowded, and traffic moves at a slow pace. Parking is a major problem. A person must provide proof of an off-street, overnight parking space to own a car in Tokyo.
Tokyo Metropolis is the media and communications center of Japan. By the late 1980s the city included many of Japan's media and communications businesses, despite having only about 10 percent of the country's population. In the early 1990s some 2400 monthly and weekly periodicals were being published in Tokyo. Moreover, there are eight general newspapers published in the city, as well as three economic and industrial newspapers and seven sports newspapers. The newspapers with the largest circulations are Yomiuri Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, and Asahi Shimbun. Tokyo is also the origin of most television and radio programming in Japan. In 1990 Tokyo had more telephone lines than any other city in the world.
Population : The Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area, defined as Tokyo Metropolis plus these three adjacent prefectures, now totals more than 30 million inhabitants; it is the largest urban area in the world. Only about 2 percent of the population is non-Japanese. The largest foreign groups are Koreans, which account for about one-half of all foreigners, Chinese, Americans, and Filipinos. Although the foreign population is a small percentage of the total, it exceeds 250,000 and is growing. The number of guest workers from developing Asian nations such as the Philippines, Iran, and Bangladesh grew especially quickly during the 1980s and early 1990s, both from legal migration and undocumented workers. The growing foreign population reflects expansion of Tokyo's role as a global economic hub.
Major cities near Tokyo
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