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Tokyo

Tokyo

About Tokyo

8,967,665 in city
35,200,000 in metro
239.62 mi² (620.62 km²)

The vast metropolitan capital of Japan, Tokyo is Japanese for "capital of the east". Tokyo is centrerd around the huge Imperial Palace and gardens, and forms an enormous urban area with neighboring city Yokohama and various smaller cities.

Tokyo is not actually a city, but a special type of prefecture called a "to." The Meiji Restoration in the mid 19th century sparked the reorganization of Japan's provinces, and the city of Edo in the province of Musashi became the prefecture of Tokyo in 1871. In 1878 the boundaries were expanded to include the Izu Islands, and in 1893 the Tama region (including such cities as Hachioji, Machida , Fuchu , and Chofu) was annexed from neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture. Our definition of the city of Tokyo comprises the 23 special wards, which was the definition of the city of Tokyo until the formation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 1943. The remaining cities and villages within the prefecture can be found in the metro area.

Due to Tokyo's location on the Pacific and Eurasian tectonic plates, it is prone to earthquakes. This caused many of the buildings to be lower in height than those of major economic centers of its size. The city was built radially, not upward like cities such as Hong Kong and New York City.

However, this fact has not deterred Tokyo from building skyscrapers, and the modern-day city boasts more high-rise buildings than just about any other city in Asia - possibly even the world. Engineering is a key feature of Tokyo's skyscrapers, taking precedence over height and beauty. A recent trend has seen numerous super-high-rise residential towers erected, and this looks set to increase as land becomes ever more scarce and engineering ever more advanced. 40- and 50-storey apartment buildings are already becoming commonplace.

The Metropolitan Government has a 50 year renewal plan for the city and surrounding regions, which includes among many plans for redesign and modernization these few goals:

1) The world's largest metropolis, supporting approximately 33 million people

 2) The world's leading city with an economic vitality on a national level

 3) A living city at the head of a new civilization in Asia

 4) An attractive cultural city with 400 years of history

 5) An environmental city coexisting with abundant nature, such as mountains, the ocean and rivers

 6) A disaster-conscious city that can overcome natural disasters such as earthquakes

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