NRI Papers
No.65   June 1, 2003
  Tokyo's Central Role in the Knowledge-Based Economy  
Masatoshi KURATANI and Yukihiko ENDO
      While Tokyo has been affected in recent years by rising social instability, it has also been stimulated by the emergence of Japan's knowledge-based economy, leading to a variety of future-oriented reactions. These reactions are indicative of Tokyo's growing importance in Japan's economy and society. The growth of major metropolitan areas is also observed in other countries, and is due mainly to the role of cities in the accumulation of human capital, information and other knowledge.
      A number of characteristic trends can be observed in basic data that reflect the transformation of Tokyo. One such development is Tokyo's growing importance as an information gateway. Another is the rising percentage of highly educated women in the city's supply of human capital. There is also evidence of improvements in Tokyo's entrepreneurial infrastructure, dynamic reinvestment in human capital, and the growth of global professional and business services. In the past Tokyo has functioned as an information center with a vertical "command and control" structure. However, these movements in Tokyo symbolize the formation of horizontal networks and new divisions of labor through diverse interactions among highly skilled human capital. As these trends continue, the City of Tokyo is expected to play a major role as the core of the emerging knowledge-based economy. That role will need to be complemented by an advanced market infrastructure. However, improving that infrastructure involves various challenges such as crime prevention, effective management of the intellectual property system, and the further development of telecommunications systems.
I The Current Situation in Tokyo and the Role of Major Cities
1 Social Instability and New Developments
2 The Growth and Role of the City
II The Changing Face of Tokyo in the Knowledge-Based Economy
1 Tokyo as an Information Gateway City
2 Growing Importance of Highly Educated Women in Tokyo's Supply of Human Capital
3 Enhanced Entrepreneurial Infrastructure
4 Reinvestment in Human Capital
5 Evolution of Global Professional Business Services
III Market Infrastructure to Support Tokyo's Urban Role
1 Crime Prevention
2 Effective Management of Intellectual Property Systems
3 Improving Telecommunications Systems--Ubiquitous Networks


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