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Financial Centres of the World: Tokyo

Tokyo is one of Japan's 47 prefectures and is situated on the south east of the island of Honshu. It is the capital of Japan and also the largest urban area of the country, along with being the seat of the government, the home of the Imperial Palace and Imperial Family. It has a modern, urbanised cityscape, with very few older buildings and is the world’s most highly populated metropolitan area.

Tokyo is a vibrant, thriving hub of financial, commercial and tourist activity, with a population of over 8 million people, and is one of the command centres of the world economy, alongside London and New York.

Working in Tokyo

Tokyo has the largest metropolitan economy on earth and the urban area produces $1.479 GDP per year (2008) and 51 of the Global 500 companies have offices in Tokyo. The city is a key financial centre for the international market, and several of the world’s largest insurance companies and investment banks are headquartered within Tokyo.

In addition to the finance and service industries other contributors to the economy include agriculture, forestry and fishing, due to the large amount of arable land that Japan has and its proximity to the ocean. It also serves as a hub for Japans’ broadcasting, publishing and transportation industries. Tokyo has a booming film and media sector, and it is a strong focal point for popular culture both in Japan and internationally.

The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Tokyo as the most expensive city in the world, with the highest cost of living, for the last 14 years in a row. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in Japan and the second largest in the world.

Living in Tokyo

Tokyo is an expensive and densely populated city however it has a huge amount to offer the people who live there. With a booming economy, technologically advanced infrastructure and up to the minute financial system, it is a prime place for businesses and individuals. The transport system is highly developed, with a network that extends to rail, ground and air and it is served by a clean and efficient subway and rail system.

The city has a wealth of universities, colleges and schools and therefore has a highly skilled workforce. Although the city is highly developed and urbanised, Tokyo has a variety of beautiful parks and open spaces that offer a tranquil oasis from the city.

Visiting Tokyo

Tokyo is a fantastic holiday destination due to its fabulous cityscapes, rich culture, advanced technology and accessibility to tourists. Tourism is a major industry within the city, and it has many museums including the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the National Museum of Science, the Nezu Art Museum and Ueno Zoo. Tokyo also has a thriving performing arts scene with many theatres for both traditional Japanese drama and modern drama.

The city also hosts a variety of festivals including the Sanno, the Sanja and the biennial Kanda Festivals. Tokyo has internationally acclaimed cuisine, with a huge variety of restaurants and dining facilities located all over the city.

Here are some useful resources for Tokyo: