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Tokyo's Economy

Economically, Tokyo comprises one third of Japan's major industrial region, the other two-thirds are Kawasaki and Yokohama.  A few of the more important industries are steel plants, manufacturing along with textiles and luxury goods.  The number of private ventures in Tokyo numbered almost 800,000 in 1995.

Japan's Economy

sinjuku_skyscrapers_nightview.jpg (16353 bytes)The scope of Japan's economy is second only to that of the United States.  Records indicate that Japan's gross national product was $2.577 trillion in 1999 versus the United States' was $4.864 trillion  Japan's continued rapid economic growth since the nation's modernization began in the later half of the nineteenth century has gained the world's attention.  Economic growth has not always been steady, however; on a number of occasions, such as after its defeat in WWII, during the oil crises of the 1970's, and after the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990's, Japan has had to overcome major economic hardships.  Now that the nation's economy generally is prospering in quantitative terms, the  focus has turned to the improvement of the quality of people's lives. 

In 1994, Japan's per capita GDP was $37,618, ranking first among the 24 OECD nations.  While these statistics alone might indicate that the average Japanese enjoys a comparatively high standard of living, the amounts are based on the respective dollar exchange rates, which can fluctuate greatly.

  The figures are thus not necessarily an accurate measure of living standards; a closer examination of various factors is necessary.  For example, an EPA survey conducted in November 1994 revealed that Tokyo's commodity prices were 52% higher than in New York and 50% higher than in London, indicating the relatively low purchasing power of the Japanese consumer.

  Moreover, residential land prices in Japan, especially in big cities, are so high as to be beyond comparison with those of other nations, making mortgage or rent payments a great burden on the average citizen.

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