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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Definition of "Osaka"

Greater Osaka: Also known as "Keihanshin" is made up of the metropolitan areas of the cities of Osaka in Osaka prefecture, Kobe in Hyōgo Prefecture, and Kyoto in Kyoto prefecture as well as Wakayama city. Keihanshin, like the greater Tokyo area is basically one large urban city.

Osaka Prefecture: Osaka prefecture has 33 cities. Osaka city is the capital of Osaka prefecture and the largest city, followed by Sakai.

Osaka City: Osaka is a city in Japan and the capital of Osaka prefecture. Inside of the city Osaka has 24 wards, these are not the same as the special wards of Tokyo..but simply "wards" without much power. Osaka city is more akin to a single of Tokyo's special wards.

Note - The newly elected governor and mayors of Osaka city and Prefecture are attempting to merge Osaka city and Prefecture into a megalopolis like Tokyo.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Osaka Statistics

Population
Greater Osaka: 19,341,976
Osaka Prefecture: 8,863,280
Osaka City: 2,670,731

Density
Greater Osaka: 1,700/km2 (approx)
Osaka Prefecture: 4,668.6/km2
Osaka City: 12,004.9/km2

Area
Greater Osaka: 11,170 km²
Osaka Prefecture: 1,898.47 km2
Osaka City: 222.47 km2

GDP
Greater Osaka: ¥82.122 trillion, around $1.04 trillion 3rd in the world at current exchange rates; $774.7 billion at PPP
Osaka Prefecture: $500 billion at current exchange rates; $366.2 billion PPP
Osaka City: ?

GDP Per Capita
Greater Osaka: $55,782; $41,552 PPP
Osaka Prefecture: $56,433; $41,136 PPP
Osaka City: ?

Companies
Osaka has 8 fortune 500 companies, the largest being Panasonic.

Stock Exchange
The Osaka Stock Exchange is the 2nd largest stock exchange in Japan and is currently being merged with the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Source:
http://www.esri.cao.go.jp/index-e.html
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2010/
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Osaka Statistics Continued



Rail statistics
Greater Osaka: 13 million passengers daily; 4.7 billion yearly the 2nd highest in the world.
Greater Osaka Subway: 2.92 million daily; 1.06 billion yearly. Represents 22% of total rail ridership.

Osaka City Transportation Modal shares (combined figures)
Train: 45.7% (36.4% alone)
Bicycle: 33.9% (27.8% alone)
Private Automobile: 10.3% (9.9% alone)
Walking: 8.5%
Bus: 4.1%
Other: 3.1%
Motor bicycle: 2.8%

Osaka Prefecture Transportation Modal shares (combined figures)
Train: 40.6% (28.6% alone)
Bicycle: 28.6% (21.9% alone)
Private automobile: 19.8% (19.1% alone)
Walking: 6.8%
Bus: 5.9%


Airports
Osaka has 2 major airports: Itami airport which is the main domestic airport and the busiest. Kansai International Airport which serves international flights. The newest airport in the region is the Kobe airport which serves primarily domestic flights.

Expressways
Osaka has several expressways: Hanshin Expressway, Meishin Expressway, Chūgoku Expressway, Sanyō Expressway, Kinki Expressway, Maizuru Expressway (To Maizuru), West-Meihan Expressway (To Nara Prefecture, Nagoya), Hanwa Expressway (To Wakayama Prefecture). Several national highways also cross through Osaka.

Skyscrapers/Buildings
Buildings/structures over 200m: 6; tallest being Abeno Harukas at 300m, tallest in Japan.
Buildings over 150m U/C (2015): 3
While Osaka will lag behind Tokyo for number of skyscrapers, it has the tallest building and 3rd tallest buildings in Japan as well as the tallest residential building. Please visit the Project Quick Links thread in our construction forum for more info: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1212657

Crime
Osaka is known as the most dangerous city in Japan. Osaka had a murder rate of 0.58 per 100,000 in 2012. Violent crime including robbery, assault and murder are the highest in the nation though relatively low when compared to the world's major cities.

Cuisine/Food
Osaka is known as "天下の台所 the nation's kitchen" and many of Japan's foods were invented here. Osaka is famous for it's Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki. Michelin stars: 88 ★ restaurants, 15 ★★ restaurants, 5 ★★★ restaurants.

Sources:
http://www.mlit.go.jp/kisha/kisha07/01/010330_3/01.pdf
http://www.pref.osaka.lg.jp/attach/1891/00039840/kokucho juugyouchi tsuugakuchi.pdf
http://todo-ran.com/t/kiji/10567
http://www.police.pref.osaka.jp/05bouhan/tokei/pdf/h24_02.pdf
http://www.fine-dining-guide.com/michelin-guide-kyoto-osaka-kobe-nara-2012-pr
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Osaka's Climate/Weather
Osaka has a humid subtropical climate with 4 distinct seasons. Summer in Osaka is generally hotter than Tokyo. Osaka like most of Japan experiences a rainy season called "tsuyu" which lasts from June to mid July. Osaka has a cool autumn season where the trees change color, called "momiji". Winters Osaka are relatively cold with a few snowfalls yearly, winter has the most sunny days. Spring in Osaka is pleasant with the cherry blossoms blooming.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Aim to create an Osaka metropolis. This will allow better governance and funding of Osaka and also let it become a "back up capital" in case of a Tokyo Earthquake.

Ex-Osaka Governor Elected Mayor on Pledge to Merge Local Governments
Osaka voters elected ex-Governor Toru Hashimoto as mayor over an incumbent backed by the political establishment, responding to his message to merge local governments in Japan’s second-biggest business center. Hashimoto, a 42-year-old-lawyer who stepped down as Osaka governor last month before the end of his first term, yesterday defeated Kunio Hiramatsu, winning 59 percent of the vote, according to the city’s website. Ichiro Matsui, a member of Hashimoto’s One Osaka party, won the gubernatorial election. One Osaka, established last year, controls the prefectural assembly and has the most municipal seats. Hashimoto pledged to merge the mayoral and guberantorial posts to centralize the region’s authority along the lines of Tokyo.

More: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-...yor-on-pledge-to-merge-local-governments.html
Itami airport site to be Tokyo backup?
If a group of lawmakers in Tokyo and Osaka get their way, a decade from now major government functions would be able to relocate to the site Itami airport currently occupies if a megaquake devastates the capital. Facilities for the Diet, central government bureaucracy, foreign diplomatic corps, major media and other organizations deemed critical would relocate to the site, making Osaka the capital, at least temporarily.

"If a Tohoku-like disaster hits Tokyo, the damage would be enormous — politically and economically. Depending on the time the potential temblor strikes, the number of people killed is conservatively estimated at between 10,000 and 100,000," Ishii said.

The Itami airport site was officially selected because it already possesses good highway connections, and is less than 3 km from the nearest shinkansen line. According to the plan, Kansai airport and Kobe airport could be connected by an underwater tunnel to become a "two-in-one" airport. Kansai would be for international flights and Kobe for domestic routes.

Any backup capital at Itami would be temporary, until Tokyo started to function again. But the grand plan for a backup capital on the border of Osaka and Hyogo prefectures calls for a futuristic city straight out of a science fiction novel. It would consist of eight different zones, with buildings for the Diet, ministries, Supreme Court, the Imperial family, and all major diplomatic missions to Japan.

More: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120113f1.html
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Metro Osaka bills in works / Government to reduce involvement at Hashimoto's insistence
The Democratic Party of Japan plans to submit a bill to the current Diet session to create an Osaka metropolis, but the central government will reduce its involvement at the insistence of Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto.

Hashimoto's dream is to realize a metropolis similar to Tokyo's and many political parties are cooperating with this aim as the mayor's Osaka Ishin no Kai is expected to win Diet seats.

The DPJ will begin negotiations with opposition parties on its planned legislation. The Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito have already submitted a similar bill to the Diet and Hashimoto is expected to demand integration of the two bills. Whether the ruling and opposition parties can reach a compromise likely will be the key to the passage of legislation to create an Osaka metropolis. Your Party and the New Renaissance Party also jointly submitted a similar bill to the Diet.

With an eye on the next House of Representatives election, the political parties want to avoid conflicts with Osaka Ishin no Kai, political observers said. Both the DPJ's bill and the one submitted by the LDP and Komeito initially obliged the Osaka authorities to hold prior discussions with the internal affairs and communications minister in devising a plan to create an Osaka metropolis. But as Hashimoto wants to minimize the central government's involvement, the LDP and Komeito deleted a clause concerning this obligation and changed it to "explain [its plans] to the internal affairs and communications minister."

Osaka Ishin no Kai then expressed its support of the LDP-Komeito bill.

Fearing the ruling party might be left in the lurch, DPJ Policy Research Committee Chairman Seiji Maehara met on May 7 and 18 with Taichi Sakaiya, former director general of the Economic Planning Agency, who is Hashimoto's top adviser. After Maehara asked what Osaka Ishin no Kai wanted, the DPJ decided to revise its bill. Though prior discussions with the international affairs and communications minister will be conducted up to a point, the obligation will be limited to points on which the central government needs to implement legislative measures, such as distribution of tax revenues.

The DPJ and LDP-Komeito bills both call for a referendum related to setting up special administrative wards. However, in addition to the prior discussion clause, the bills differ over such points as the involvement of the central government when the Osaka city and prefectural governments work out their plan to set up the wards. This will be a focus of debate among the ruling and opposition parties. On the central government's involvement, the LDP-Komeito bill stipulates the Osaka city and prefectural governments "should provide information [of the ward plan] to the internal affairs and communications minister."

The DPJ's revised bill will stipulate the Osaka government "should report to the internal affairs and communications minister before submission of the plan to the local assemblies. The minister can present opinions about the plan."

At a press conference Thursday, Hashimoto praised the DPJ's decision to revise its initial draft of the bill. Hashimoto called on the political parties to make continued efforts to pass the legislation.

"The LDP, Komeito, DPJ and Your Party are making cooperative efforts. I have to leave the rest to Diet members," he said.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120527001954.htm
 

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After Abeno Harukas is completed, wouldn't that make the Yokohama Landmark Tower the 2nd tallest?
 

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maybe I was too vague. Allow me to restructure the question into a statement.

After Abeno Harukas is completed, that would make Osaka home to the tallest and third tallest buildings in Japan.

While Osaka will lag behind Tokyo for number of skyscrapers, it will have the tallest and 2nd tallest buildings in Japan (not counting towers).
 

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sorry for the sarcasm :p I was a bit confused at the beginning, thinking there was another supertall planned for Osaka. Speaking of which, assuming Osaka does become a metropolis with the same legal status as Tokyo, what are the chances of more supertalls being built there?

I myself feel Tokyo is hogging all the attention foreigners, and even us Japanese, give to Japan. I would like to see other cities becoming more important and influential, which is why I'm rather excited to see Osaka take the initiative. One question: if this project were to go through, would we then refer to Osaka as Osaka-to (大阪都)?
 

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One of the biggest redevelopment projects in Osaka is the renovation of the Expo Commemoration Park and some of the adjoining site that were part of the 1970 World Expo.

On the site of the amusement park on the south side of the area Mitsui Fudosan will be developing "The Museum City of Expo21" (the official name is in English.) which will be theme park that with a "Fusion of Education and Entertainment" theme.

The most recent plans include a new Ferris Wheel replacing the old one in the current park. And it won't be just another Ferris Wheel, with a height of 170m it will be the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world.





It will beat the Singapore Flyer that is currently the tallest with 165m.


Construction of the complex should start in 2014 and it will be completed in September 2016.

There will be 300 shops, an aquarium, an education center, a movie theater and a Hot Spa.

Some blog posts with more info:
http://blog.osakanight.com/article/eid315.html
http://saitoshika.blog119.fc2.com/blog-entry-1528.html
 

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That's a big project. Good that they will finish it only in two years. Osaka is thriving right now with this kind of new big plans.
 

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that's great news for Osaka!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Diet to review bill for Osaka metropolis
Five parties have formally agreed to submit a bill that would realize Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's initiative to create an Osaka metropolis.

With the agreement, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito, Your Party and the People's New Party will jointly submit the bill to the Diet as early as this week, which would allow local governments to establish special administrative wards similar to Tokyo's 23 wards.

The bill is expected to be enacted during the current Diet session.

"I'm very pleased," Hashimoto told the press Friday at Osaka City Hall. "I'd like to leave the matter to the Diet members until it's completed."

Hashimoto aims to abolish the city of Osaka in April 2015 and instead establish eight to nine special administrative wards.

more: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120707002404.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Flowering 'Green Wall' To Grace Osaka Commercial Complex


OSAKA (Nikkei)--Shin Umeda City, an Osaka business and shopping complex featuring twin skyscrapers, will unveil at the end of September a massive wall blanketed with flowers and other plants.

The idea was floated by architect Tadao Ando. To be designed by Sekisui House Ltd. (1928), the so-called green wall will feature such flowers blooming in different seasons as rhododendrons, hydrangeas, cosmos and wisterias.

The 78-meter long structure will stand three stories tall. "This will be one of the hugest green walls in the world," Ando says.

"I hope this beautiful wall will help refine people's sensitivity and serve as a monument for the spirit," he says.

http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20130618D18JSN01.htm
 
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