Kansai’s Central Metropolis, Osaka
Osaka is located in Kansai, a region located in central Japan.
It consists of 6 prefectures – Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Shiga, and Wakayama – and has flourished as a political, economic, and cultural center of Japan due to the fact that Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara were once the country’s capital.
Kansai’s total area is around 27,350 square kilometers, with more than 20 million people living within an area approximately 200km in diameter. With a GDP comparable to that of Indonesia, Kansai is one of the world’s leading major metropolitan areas.
Once the ancient capital and a prosperous financial and commercial center up until today, Osaka, in particular, has played an integral role as Kansai’s main city in the development of Japan’s industrial economy.
The Metropolis Osaka
Osaka Prefecture is composed of 43 municipalities, including Osaka City, and is home to approximately 8.7 million people (the 3rd most populated prefecture in Japan). With a total area of 1,905 square kilometers, it is Japan’s second smallest prefecture and forms a densely-populated metropolis second only to Tokyo. With airports and harbors connecting to cities around the world, including those of Asia, Osaka Prefecture is equipped with an extensive infrastructure and is becoming a center of international activity with a large number of foreign residents visitors from overseas.
At the center of this is Osaka City, which, at 225 square kilometers, accounts for only 0.1% of Japan’s land area yet is home to approximately 2.69 million people. Osaka has around 192,000 business establishments– the second largest concentration in Japan – located within its city limits with many central functions of the government and economy gathered here. As a result, there is a large influx of workers from the surrounding municipalities each day, bringing the daytime population close to 3.5 million and filling the city with vibrant economic activity.
Source: Export value/Import value The Outline of Osaka Economy, 2016,
Other Sources: Osaka City homepage
The Size of Osaka’s Economy
At 179 billion US dollars (approximately 18,446.5 billion yen), Osaka City's GRP accounts for approximately 4% of Japan's GDP and is roughly equivalent to the economic activity of Vietnam. In addition, the GRP of Osaka prefecture in total is equivalent to that of Thailand.
Comparison of GPR/GDP (nominal) for 2014