Kansai Science City (Japan)
Kansai Science City is a city of roughly 410,000 people that spans three prefectures of Japan. The city is not necessarily large by Japanese metropolitan standards, however it does span a uniquely large amount of jurisdictions. In all, the city is located within no less than 8 individual cities. In most of these cases, the city is located only in a portion of the city. Seika in the Kyoto prefecture is the only whole city located entirely within the limits of the Kansai Science City. The unique borders of this city are mostly due to its unique geographical location at the confluence of a number of jurisdictional borders.
The city was created as a way to encourage the development of arts and sciences in Japanese culture. Despite the name labeling Kansia a "science city," there is a large amount of consideration afforded to the arts and humanities as well. Research is also a big component of the city, as it was originally chartered to be a city that led to the development of entirely new industries in Japan by pressing for greater scientific research. Though Kansai Science City is called a "city," it is actually not chartered as a city by either the Japanese national government or any regional governments.
Technology and the Economy of Kansai Science City
Since Kansai Science City is not a chartered city, it cannot collect business taxes from businesses located within its borders. The city is also unique in the sense that it was not developed as an outlet for economic growth in Japan. It was specifically created as a city that would focus on research, education and the arts. Therefore, the largest employers in the city are research institutions and the eight universities that are located within its borders.
Though economic development is not the centerpiece of the economy of Kansai Science City, a number of successful businesses are headquartered here. Many others headquarter their research operations in this city, but not their corporate offices. Some of the more well-known companies that keep their research operations within this city are NEC, Kyocera and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.
NEC is known as the worlds largest and most successful producer of semiconductors. NEC is also well-known in media circles as the producer of some of the highest-quality computer displays available today. Most of the materials research that goes into the production of these displays and semiconductors is done in Kansai Science City. Much of the research that went into the creation of NEC's famous carbon nanotubes was conducted by NEC's research lab in the city. While specific employment numbers in Kansai Science City are not available, NEC employs nearly 110,000 people worldwide.
Kyocera is an enormous, multi-national electronics manufacturer that is headquartered in Kyoto. As Kansai Science City is located partly in Kyoto prefecture, Kyocera has placed a lot of their research activities within the city. The company is also a world-renowned manufacturer of precision ceramics. These ceramics are used in the creation of a number of Kyocera's electronics, including their full range of solar panel options. The company employs almost 71,500 people worldwide. Most of the research for their solar cells and thin-film technologies is conducted at Kyocera's basic research lab in Kansai Science City.
The Importance of Technology on the Economy of Kansai Science City
The entire economy of Kansai seems to be built upon a foundation of science, technology and the arts. Beyond the essential research operations being conducted in the city, there are a number of popular universities operated here. These universities are major employers and they engender a further reliance upon a technologically-based economy here.
Technology companies employ the greatest number of people in this city by a wide margin. Though the arts are also a large component of what this city was created to support, technology companies bring much more money to the city by far. As a result, it's difficult to find many people in this town of more than 400,000 people who is not employed by a technology company. This makes Kansai Science City a prime destination for any developing technology company, or for anyone looking to get in on the ground level with world-famous companies.
Kansai Science City is Representative of Japan's Drive Toward Technology
In general, Japan is well-known around the world as a pioneer in the worlds of business and technology. It is only reasonable that such a city would be developed and nurtured in a country like Japan. While some other developed nations find themselves constantly falling behind in the technology race, Japan is always forging ahead. The focus on cities like Kansai Science City could be a major part of why this is true. As this small city keeps seeing further gains in the future, it's possible that other countries may follow suit.