Introduction to Osaka


Industry of Osaka

Osaka has been the gateway to overseas and the center of Japan's economy since ancient times. In recent years, it has been instrumental in adding traction to Japan's economy as a leader of the industrial revolution, and this has produced a large number of major industries and corporations.

One of the main feature of Osaka Prefecture's industry is that it is regarded as the Region for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). SMEs account for approximately 65% of industrial production in Osaka, and many of these claim a large share of the world's markets with their unique home-grown technology.

Another prominent feature is the fact that it is known for its abundant spirit of rationalism and its approach to corporate affairs. A wide range of unique products, including instant noodles, and business innovations were originally conceived in Osaka.

Scale of Osaka's Economy

The region encompassing Osaka is an extremely large-scale economic zone. The GDP for the area stands at $359.8 billion (calculated at a rate of ¥107.49 to the dollar on 2004) which is on an even scale with Switzerland.

(Chart) Gross Domestic Product for Major Nations
  1. Source: National Accounts Statistics Database.
    Calendar year for 2004 (fiscal year for India and Australia)
  2. Figures for Osaka taken from the Fiscal 2004 System of Prefectural Accounts for Osaka. Calculated with the annual exchange rate of ¥107.49 to the dollar.
  3. Figures for Japan taken from the Fiscal 2004 System of National Accounts issued by the Cabinet on 2006.
  4. Figures for the Kansai Region taken from the Annual Report on Prefectural Accounts for Fiscal 2003. This consists of the total figures for nine prefectures, including Fukui, Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, Wakayama and Tokushima prefectures. Calculated with the annual exchange rate of ¥113.03 to the dollar.

Composition of Industry in Osaka

A comparison of the components of Osaka's GDP shows that the service industry (service industry + governmental services, etc.,) which has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, claims the largest percentage. The manufacturing industry and commerce industry, which continue to support industry in Osaka, have also managed to maintain the same percentages that they have constantly achieved.

(Chart) Breakdown of the Composition of Osaka's Gross Domestic Product

Osaka's Small and Medium-Sized Companies

Osaka, which is known as the City for Small and Medium-Sized Companies, plays host to a large number of healthy small and medium-sized corporations. The number of small to medium-sized companies located in Osaka account for approximately 8% of the nationwide total, and an amazing 99.6% of all companies operating out of Osaka.

Creation Core Higashi Osaka was opened in 2003 as a facility for providing total support for the field of manufacturing in the eastern part of Osaka, where there is a concentration of small to medium-sized manufacturing companies, and this facility is not only involved in distributing information and providing comprehensive consultation functions at home and abroad, it is also actively engaged in making sure that the high-level technology developed through the results of leading-edge research by universities and owned by the small to medium-sized companies located in Osaka is broadly distributed.

Osaka Companies Ranked in the Newsweek Top 500

Osaka is known as the City for Small and Medium-Sized Companies, but it also provides an exceptional business environment in which a large number of overseas companies originating from various nations of the world have created their base of operations. The Newsweek Global 500 issued in the Newsweek magazine of June 21, 2006 (in which companies from around the world are evaluated and ranked for their financial results and levels of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),) ranked a total of 19 companies with their head offices based in Osaka, including Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., Nitto Denko Corporation and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., in the top 500 companies of the world.

Osaka-based companies
Company Names
50 87 5 Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
94 256 14 Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
96 - 15 Nitto Denko Corporation
131 94 25 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
140 335 27 Kubota Corporation
158 41 40 Sharp Corporation
175 128 41 Sekisui House, Ltd.
187 200 45 Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.
218 250 53 Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.
284 316 70 The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.
327 348 72 Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.
315 410 77 Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd.
320 226 79 Obayashi Corporation
337 468 82 Teijin Limited
345 352 86 Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd.
356 109 90 Daikin Industries Ltd.
454 184 108 Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
476 - 112 Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.
481 474 114 Nippon Meat Packers Inc.
Source: "Newsweek" 21 June, 2006