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Posted by r2d2 03/15/2009 @ 06:11

Tags : osaka, japan, asia, world

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Over 1000 schools, kindergartens in Osaka, Hyogo to be closed due ... - Japan Today
More than 1000 educational facilities—kindergartens, and elementary, junior and senior high schools—in Osaka and Hyogo prefectures have decided to suspend classes for certain periods following the confirmation of new flu infections in the prefectures,...
Japan: Urawa Reds and Gamba Osaka take share of the spoils - Global - ESPN
Urawa Reds were held to a goalless draw by Gamba Osaka in an entertaining J.League encounter. Reds, who lost in both games with Gamba last season, created a number of chances and defended well to limit their opponents' opportunities....
Sanyo Posts FY Net Loss, Expects Breakeven FY09 - Wall Street Journal
The Osaka-based company, whose products include washing machines and rechargeable batteries, suffered a net loss of Y93.23 billion for the just-ended year, considerably worse than a profit of Y28.70 billion a year earlier. Sales came to Y1.771 trillion...
In This Moment Guitarist Checks In From Japan - Metal Underground
"I am writing from my hotel room in Osaka, Japan. This is our third day here and its been an exciting trip so far, we flew in two days ago and it was a hellish flight, after 10+ hours in a tiny seat with no air vents and some really nasty smelling food...
Tokyo Shares End Up; Financials, Sony Gain; Econ Data Awaited - Wall Street Journal
June Nikkei 225 futures ended up 140 points, or 1.5%, at 9270 on the Osaka Securities Exchange. With earnings reporting season drawing to a close, the market will likely focus on next week's economic indicators, said Mizuho Securities market analyst...
Utah Open Karate Championships go today - Deseret News
Shihan Toshio Osaka, an 8th-degree black belt, directs the tournament. Osaka was the All Japan Karate Champion in 1965 and then he was coach of the Japanese National Karate team, leading them to two consecutive championships....
Lewd Osaka shop dispenses loads of lactic lechery - The Tokyo Reporter
She subsequently took up employment at Mother's Milk, an Osaka sex shop offering services dispensed by expectant and nursing mothers. “I'm still lactating a huge volume, so my customers are delighted,” she gushes to Shukan Jitsuwa (May 28)....
Satellite Maido takes picture of self in orbit - The Daily Yomiuri
OSAKA--Maido No. 1, a satellite launched in January to observe lightning has photographed itself in orbit with the Earth in the background. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency sent a copy of the image to Astro Technology SOHLA, the association of...
Newton, Washington Reunited in Ryuku-Osaka Semifinal Clash - American Chronicle
Together, the former Indiana University teammates helped the Osaka Evessa win three consecutive bj-league championships. This season, both players have helped their respective teams reach the Final Four. Newton now plays for the Ryukyu Golden Kings....
Panasonic posts 444.3 billion yen net loss; expects a 'deeper red ... - TopNews United States
The operating profit for the Osaka-based Japanese maker of Viera-branded TV sets plunged a gigantic 86 percent to 72.9 billion yen, with the sales tumbling 14.4 percent to 7.77 trillion yen. Not only do the monstrous loss figures present a complete...


Osaka is located in Japan

Osaka (大阪市 ,Ōsaka-shi?) listen (help·info) is a city in Japan, located at the mouth of the Yodo River on Osaka Bay, in the Kansai region of the main island of Honshū.

Osaka is a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law and the capital city of Osaka Prefecture. Osaka was historically the commercial capital of Japan, and to date the heart of Japan's second largest metropolitan area of Keihanshin (Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto), whose population is 18,643,915.

A unique record that the city of Osaka holds in Japan is the largest difference between daytime and nighttime population—141%—a depiction of Osaka's economic– and commerce–centric character. While at night time the population ranks third in the country at 2.6 million, in daytime it surges to 3.7 million, second only after Tokyo.

Osaka is traditionally considered the "nation's kitchen" (天下の台所 ,tenka no daidokoro?) or the gourmet food capital of Japan.

Some of the earliest signs of habitation in the area of Osaka were found at the Morinomiya remains (森の宮遺跡 ,Morinomiya iseki?), with its shell mounds, including sea oysters and buried human skeletons from the 5th–6th centuries BC. It is believed that what is today the Uehonmachi area consisted of a peninsular land, with an inland sea in the east. During the Yayoi period, permanent habitation on the plains grew as rice farming became popular.

By the Kofun period, Osaka developed into a hub port connecting the region to the western part of Japan. The large numbers, and the increasing size, of tomb mounds found in the plains of Osaka are seen as evidence of political-power concentration, leading to the formation of a state.

In 645, Emperor Kōtoku built his palace, the Naniwa Nagara-Toyosaki Palace in Osaka, making this area the capital (Naniwa-kyō). The place that became the modern city was by this time called Naniwa. This name, and derived forms, are still in use for districts in central Osaka such as Naniwa (浪速) and Namba (難波). Although the capital was moved to Asuka (in Nara Prefecture today) in 655, Naniwa remained a vital connection, by land and sea, between Yamato (modern day Nara Prefecture), Korea, and China.

In 744, Naniwa once again became the capital by order of Emperor Shōmu. Naniwa ceased to be the capital in 745, when the Imperial Court moved back to Heijō-kyō (now Nara). The seaport function was gradually taken over by neighboring lands by the end of Nara period, but it remained a lively center of river, channel, and land transportation between Heian-kyō (Kyoto today) and other destinations.

In 1496, the Jōdo Shinshū Buddhist sect set up their headquarters in the heavily fortified Ishiyama Hongan-ji on the site of the old Naniwa imperial palace. Oda Nobunaga started a siege of the temple in 1570. After a decade, the monks finally surrendered, the temple was razed, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi constructed Osaka Castle in its place.

Osaka was, for a long time, Japan's most important economic center, with a large percentage of the population belonging to the merchant class (see Four divisions of society). Over the course of the Edo period (1603–1867), Osaka grew into one of Japan's major cities and returned to its ancient role as a lively and important port. Its popular culture was closely related to ukiyo-e depictions of life in Edo. Developing in parallel with the urban culture of Kyoto and Edo, Osaka likewise featured bunraku and grand kabuki productions, pleasure quarters, and a lively artistic community.

In 1837, Ōshio Heihachirō, a low-ranking samurai, led a peasant insurrection in response to the city's unwillingness to support the many poor and suffering families in the area. Approximately one-quarter of the city was razed before shogunal officials put down the rebellion, after which Ōshio killed himself.

The modern municipality was established in 1889 by government ordinance, with an initial area of 15 km², overlapping today's Chūō and Nishi wards. Later, the city went through three major expansions to reach its current size of 222 km².

It is unclear when this name gained prominence over Naniwa, but the oldest usage of the name dates back to a 1496 text. Osaka, now written 大阪, was formerly written using a different second kanji as 大坂. The old writing is still in very limited use to emphasize history.

The city of Osaka has its west side open to Osaka Bay. It is otherwise completely surrounded by more than ten smaller cities, all of them in Osaka Prefecture, with one exception: the city of Amagasaki, belonging to Hyōgo Prefecture, in the northwest. The city occupies a larger area (about 12%) than any other city or village within Osaka Prefecture. When the city was established in 1889, the city occupied roughly what today are the wards of Chuo and Nishi, with only 15.27 square kilometres (3,773 acres) size, and grew to today's 222.30 square kilometres (54,932 acres) over several expantions. The biggest leap was in 1925, when 126.01 square kilometres (31,138 acres) was claimed through an expantion. The highest point in Osaka is in Tsurumi-ku at 37.5 metres (123.0 ft) Tokyo Peil, and the lowest point is in Nishiyodogawa-ku at -2.2 metres (−7.2 ft) Tokyo Peil.

For the ease of orientation, Central Osaka is often split in to two areas that are referred to as Kita (キタ, lit. north) and Minami (ミナミ, lit. south), at either end of the major thoroughfare Midōsuji . Kita is roughly the area including or surrounding the business and retail district of Umeda. On the other hand, Minami is home to the Namba, Shinsaibashi, and Dōtonbori shopping districts. The entertainment area around Dōtonbori Bridge with its famous giant mechanical crab, Triangle Park, and Amerikamura ("America Village") is in Minami. The traditional business district, including the courts and regional headquarters of major banks, is primarily located in Yodoyabashi and Honmachi, between Kita and Minami. The newer business district is the OBP, Osaka Business Park, located in the neighborhood of Osaka Castle. Business districts have also formed around the city's secondary rail termini, such as Tennoji Station and Kyobashi Station.

According to the 2005 Census of Japan, there were 2,628,811 people, which is an increase of 30,037 or 1.2%, over the previous Census in 2000. There were 1,280,325 households in the city with an average of approximately 2.1 members per household. The population density was 11,836 persons per km². Due to the Great Kanto Earthquake causing a mass migration to Osaka between 1920 and 1930, the city was Japan's largest city with 2,453,573 people, beating out Tokyo with 2,070,913 in the 1930 Census. The population peaked to 3,252,340 in 1940 Census (or postwar peak of 3,156,222 in 1965), but continued to decrease since, as more people moved out to its suburbs.

The commonly spoken dialect of this area is Osaka-ben. Of the many other particularities that characterize Osaka-ben, an example is the use of the suffix hen instead of nai in the negative of verbs.

The Osaka City Council is the city's local government formed under the Local Autonomy Law. The Council has 89 seats, allocated to the 24 wards proportional to their population and re-elected by the citizens every four years. The Council elects its President and Vice President. The Mayor of the city is directly elected by the citizens every four years as well, in accordance with the Local Autonomy Law. Kunio Hiramatsu, a former Mainichi Broadcasting System announcer is the mayor of Osaka since 2007. He is supported by two Vice Mayors who are appointed by himself in accordance of the city bylaw.

The gross city product of Osaka for fiscal year 2004 was ¥21.3 trillion, an increase of 1.2% over the previous year. This amount is about 55% of the Osaka Prefecture and 26.5% of the Kinki region. As of 2004, commerce, services, and manufacturing have been the three major industries with a respective share of 30%, 26%, and 11% of total industry. The per capita income was about ¥3.3 million, 10% higher than that of the Osaka Prefecture. MasterCard Worldwide reported that Osaka ranks 19th among the world's leading global cities and has an instrumental role in driving the global economy.

The GDP in the greater Osaka area (Osaka and Kobe) is $341 billion. Osaka has one of the most-productive hinterlands in the world, making it a match even for Paris and London. This GDP has kept fairly constant for the past 15 years, when the GDP compared with other cities worldwide was that much larger.

Historically, Osaka was the center of Japanese commerce, especially in the middle and pre-modern ages. Nomura Securities, the first brokerage firm in Japan, was founded in the city in 1925, and Osaka still houses the leading futures exchange in the country. Today, many major companies have since moved their main offices to Tokyo, principally in the 1970s. However, several major companies—such as Panasonic, Sharp, and Sanyo—are still headquartered in Osaka. Recently, the city began a program, headed by Mayor Junichi Seki, to try to attract domestic and foreign investment.

See Hanshin Industrial Region.

Kansai International Airport is the main airport: it is a rectangular artificial island that sits off-shore in Osaka Bay and services Osaka and its surrounding cities of Nara, Kobe, and Kyoto. Kansai is the geographical term for the area of western Honshū surrounding Osaka. The airport is linked by a bus and train service into the centre of the city and major suburbs.

Osaka International Airport, laid over the border between the cities of Itami and Toyonaka, still houses most of the domestic service from the metropolitan region.

The Osaka Municipal Subway system is a part of Osaka's extensive rapid transit system. The Metro system alone ranks 8th in the world by annual passenger ridership, serving over 912 million people annually (a quarter of Greater Osaka Rail System's 4 billion annual riders), despite being only 8 of more than 70 lines in the metro area ((see map) Besides this, there is a network of both JR and private lines connecting the suburbs of the city and Osaka to its neighbours. Keihan and Hankyu lines connect to Kyoto; Hanshin and Hankyu lines connect to Kobe; the Kintetsu line connects to Nara and Nagoya; and the Nankai line connects to Wakayama. Many lines in Greater Osaka accept either ICOCA or PiTaPa contactless smart cards for payment.

Regular bus services are provided by Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau (the City Bus), as well as by group companies of Hankyu, Hanshin and Kintetsu. The City runs a dense network covering much parts of the city. The fare for the regular buses is a flat rate of 200 Yen, or 100 Yen for the smaller "Red Bus" looplines operated within segmented areas of the city. The other bus companies provide their services in supplement to their railway networks.

Osaka has a large number of wholesalers and retail shops: 25,228 and 34,707 respectively in 2004, according to the city statistics. A lot of them are concentrated in the wards of Chuō (10,468 shops) and Kita (6,335 shops). Types of shops varies from malls to conventional type of shōtengai shopping arcades, built both above and undergrounds. Shōtengai are seen across Japan, but Osaka has the longest one in the country. The Tenjinbashi-suji arcade stretches from the road approaching the Temmangu shrine and continues for 2.6 km going north to south. The type of stores along the arcade includes commodities, clothing, and catering outlets.

Other shopping areas are Den Den Town, the electronic and manga/anime district, which is comparable to Akihabara; and the Umeda district, which has the Hankyu Sanbangai shopping mall and Yodobashi Camera, which is a huge electrical appliance store that offers a vast range of fashion stores, restaurants, and a Shonen Jump store.

Osaka is also known for its food, as supported by the saying "Dress (in kimonos) 'til you drop in Kyoto, eat 'til you drop in Osaka" (京の着倒れ、大阪の食い倒れ). Regional cuisine includes okonomiyaki (pan-fried batter cake), takoyaki (octopus dumplings), udon (a noodle dish), as well as the traditional battera (バッテラ) sushi.

Osaka is home to the National Bunraku Theatre, where traditional puppet theatres, bunraku, are performed. At Osaka Shouchiku-za located close to Namba station, kabuki can be enjoyed as well as manzai. Also nearby is the Shin-kabuki-za, where enka concerts and Japanese dramas are on. Yoshimoto, a Japanese entertainment conglomarate operates two halls in the city, for mainzai and other comedy shows: the Namba Grand Kagetsu and the Kyōbashi Kagetsu halls. The Hanjō-tei is a newly opened theatre in 2006, dedicated to rakugo. The theatre is in the Temmangū area.

Umeda Arts Theater was newly opened in 2005, relocating from its former 46-years old Umeda Koma Theater. The theater has a main hall with 1,905 seats, and a smaller theater-drama hall with 898 seats. Umeda Arts Theatre stages various type of performances including musicals, music concerts, dramas, rakugo and others. The Symphony Hall, built in 1982, is the first hall in Japan designed specially for classical music concerts. The Hall was opened with a concert by the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, who is based in the city. Orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic have played here during their world tours as well. Osaka-jō Hall is a multi-purpose arena located in Osaka-jō park with a capacity for upto 16,000 people. The hall has hosted numerous events and concerts including both Japanese and international artists. Close to the City Hall in Nakanoshima, is Osaka Central Public Hall, a Neo-Renaissance style architecture first opened in 1918. Re-opened in 2002 after major restoration, it serves as a multi-purpose rental facility hall for citizen events. The Osaka Shiki Theater is one of the nine private halls opearted nationwide by the Shiki Theatre, staging straigt plays and musicals. The Festival Hall was a hall hosting various performances including noh, kyogen, kabuki, ballets as well as classic concerts. The Bolshoi Ballet and the Philharmonia are among the many that were welcomed on stage in the past. The hall has closed at the end of 2008, planned to re-open in 2013 in a new facility.

The National Museum of Art (NMAO) is a subterranean Japanese art museum, housing mainly collections from the post-war era. Osaka Science Museum is in a five storied building next to the National Museum of Art, with a planetarium and an omnimax theatre. The Museum of Oriental Ceramics holds more than 2,000 pieces of Ceramics, from China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam, featuring displays of some of their Korean celadon under natural light. Osaka Municipal Museum of Art is located inside Tennōji park, housing over 8,000 pieces of Japanese and Chinese paintings and sculptures. The Osaka Museum of History is a museum opened in 2001, located in a thirteen-storied modern building providing a viewing spot over Osaka castle from inside. Its exhibits cover the history of Osaka from pre-history to present days. Osaka Museum of Natural History houses collection related to natural history and life.

Osaka hosts two professional sport teams: one of them is the Orix Buffaloes, a Nippon Professional Baseball team, playing its home games at Kyocera Dome Osaka. Another baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers, although based in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, plays a part of its home games in Kyocera Dome Osaka as well, when their homeground Kōshien Stadium is occupied with the annual National High School Baseball Championship games during summer season.

The other professional team based in Osaka is Cerezo Osaka, a J.League soccer team, which plays its home games at Nagai Stadium. The team plays in the 2nd division league since the 2007 season, after finishing second to last in the previous year.

The Sangatsubasho (三月場所 sangatsu basho, lit. March ring), one out of the six regular tournaments of the professional Sumo is held annualy in Osaka at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. Another major annual sporting event that takes place is Osaka is Osaka International Ladies Marathon. Held usually at the end of January every year, the 42.195 km race starts from Nagai Stadium, runs through Nakanoshima, Midōsuji and Osaka castle park, and returns to the stadium. Yet another yearly event held at Nagai Stadium is the Osaka Gran Prix Athletics games operated by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in May. The Osaka GP is the only IAAF games annually held in Japan.

All the five nationwide newspaper majors of Japan, the Asahi Shimbun, the Mainichi Shimbun, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, the Sankei Shimbun and the Yomiuri Shimbun, have their regional headquarters in Osaka and issues their regional editions.

The five TV networks are represented by the Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ANN), the Kansai Telecasting Corporation (FNN), the Mainichi Broadcasting System (JNN), the Television Osaka (TXN) and the Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (NNN), headquartered in Osaka. NHK has also its regional station based in the city. AM Radio services are provided by NHK as well as the ABC Radio (Asahi Broadcasting Corporation), MBS Radio (Mainichi Broadcasting System) and Radio Osaka (Osaka Broadcasting Corporation) and headquartered in the city. FM services are available from NHK, FM Osaka, FM802 and FM Cocolo, the last providing programs in multiple languages including English.

Public elementary and junior high schools in Osaka are operated by the city of Osaka. Its supervisory organization on educational matters is Osaka City Board of Education . Likewise, public high schools are operated by Osaka Prefectural Board of Education.

Osaka city once had a large number of universities high schools, but because of growing campuses and the need for larger area, many chose to move to the suburbs, including Osaka University .

Osaka also has a number of sister ports, and several business partner cities including Manila.

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Suita, Osaka

Suita, Osaka is located in Japan

Suita (吹田市 ,Suita-shi?) is a city located in northern Osaka, Japan. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 354,600 and the density of 9,820 persons per km². The total area is 36.11 km².

The city was founded on April 1, 1940, and was the site of Expo '70, a World's Fair held in 1970. The J-League soccer club Gamba Osaka plays at Osaka Expo '70 Stadium, located in the former world's fair grounds.

It is connected to central by Hankyu Railway, West Japan Railway Company and the Osaka Municipal Subway. The Osaka Monorail also passes through the area, connecting the city to Osaka, the Expo Memorial Park and Osaka International Airport.

Suita was involved in Bankstown's first international Sister City in March 1989.

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Osaka Securities Exchange

Osaka Securities Exchange Building in Chuo-ku, Osaka

The Osaka Securities Exchange Co., Ltd. (株式会社大阪証券取引所 ,Kabushiki-gaisha Ōsaka Shōken Torihikijo?, OSE) (Hercules: 8697) is the second largest securities exchange in Japan, in terms of amount of business handled. As of 31 December 2007, the Osaka Securities Exchange had 477 listed companies with a combined market capitalization of $212 billion. The Nikkei 225 Futures, introduced at the Osaka Securities Exchange in 1988, is now an internationally recognized futures index. In contrast to the Tokyo Securities Exchange, which mainly deals in spot trading, the Osaka Securities Exchange’s strength is in derivative products today OSE is the leading Derivatives Exchange in Japan and it was the largest futures market in the world in 1990 and 1991. According to statistics from 2003, the Osaka Securities Exchange handled 59% of the stock price index futures market in Japan, and almost 100% of trading in the options market. Osaka Securities Exchange Co., which listed on its Hercules market for startups in April 2004 is the only Japanese securities exchange which went public on its own market.

In July 2006 OSE launched their newest futures contract the Nikkei 225 mini which is one tenth of the size of the original Nikkei 225 Futures contract and highly popular among Japanese individual investors. In September 2007 OSE established evening session for Stock Index Futures and Options.The trading hours is from 16:30 to 19:00 (JST. 7:30-10:00 in UTC).

The birthplace for futures transactions: Dōjima Rice Exchange (堂島米会所 The origin of securities exchanges stems from Edo Period, when the exchange for rice & crop was established in Osaka, center of Japanese economy. Each prefecture set up its own warehouses in Osaka for shipping & preservation of their rice (to be taxed by the government), and sold them to merchants. One of the most famous merchants was "Yodoya", which was based upon the southern part of Yodoyabashi area. Some other merchants gradually gathered to create one market. This market was called "Yodoya-Komeichi", which was the first securities exchange in the nation.

Later on, this market was moved to Dojima in 1697, so-called "Dojimakomekaisho", which was a physical market to trade in rice-tickets or physical rice. In 1716, Cho-gomai transaction was introduced and recognized by the government in 1730, which is said to be the origin of futures transactions in Japan.

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Osaka Marathon

The Osaka International Ladies Marathon is an annual marathon race for women over the classic distance of 42km and 195 metres held in the city of Osaka, Japan, and hosted by Japan Association of Athletics Federations (日本陸上競技連盟 ?), Kansai Telecasting Corporation (関西テレビ放送株式会社 ?), the Sankei Shimbun Co., Ltd. (株式会社産業経済新聞社 ?, the Sankei Shimbun), Sankei Sports (サンケイスポーツ ?), Osaka Broadcasting Corporation (大阪放送株式会社 ?, Radio Osaka) and Osaka City (大阪市 ?). The first took place on January 24, 1982, and was won by Italy's Rita Marchisio. The 1995 marathon was cancelled due to the Great Hanshin Earthquake.

The Japanese rock group The Alfee has written a large number of the theme songs for the marathon.

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Source : Wikipedia