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Okinawa city takes top growth honors in Japan

Date Posted: 2006-09-29

Fueled by a high birth rate, Tomishiro City on Okinawa’s main island has taken honors as the number one growth city in Japan.

The new honors were announced by Toyo Economic News Company’s research report, choosing Tomishiro City tops in growth power. The award is calculated based on 11 criteria and categories.

Researchers study population and family numbers, enterprise and worker numbers, sales production totals, retail and wholesale figures, new building construction, and tax payments, as well as land values.

Okinawa’s high birth rate has boosted Tomishiro City’s development. Another attractive city feature was the large number of land reclamation projects in the city’s Toyosaki area.

“Toyosaki area is a good location for tourists, being near the airport,” says Tomishiro City Mayor Houmei Kinjo. “Our outlet mall has brought a lot of customers, and the number of workers has increased a lot.” He says restaurants also moved into the area, boosting the economy. Kinjo also cites a 70% return on property taxes within three years.

The mayor explains city policy is to give ¥50,000 subsidy money to companies which hire new workers. “These good ideas have brought everything to the city and everything became better,” Kinjo says.

Uruma City, Nago City and Ishigaki City were in the survey’s Top 10 for 2005. A total of 780 cities were evaluated.

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