Influx of Foreigners in Osaka Prompts Businesses to Set Up a Chinatown

The City of Osaka which is located in the Kansai Region is the third largest city in the Land of the Rising Sun. Lately, the city became the center of attention across the country as it hosted a multi national event particularly the Group of 20 Leaders summit. It was the very first G20 forum held in Japan last June 28 and 29, 2019. Despite the conclusion of the said international conference, Osaka continues to attract foreign tourists from different parts of the globe.


Due to the tremendous increase in the number of foreigners in the city, it can be observed that more and more restaurants, commercial establishments and other businesses flourished in the prefecture. Most of them are either owned or operated by Chinese and Korean nationals. In recent years, the Chinese are considered as the largest foreign minority in Japan.


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With the influx of Chinese restaurants and businesses, there is also in increase in the number of investors who are willing to develop the Osaka district into a Chinatown which is similar to the set-up in other areas such as Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki. They intend to establish not only food shops but also bakeries, souvenir or merchandise stores, fortune telling stands, among others.


A researcher of Mizuho Bank expressed that Osaka prefecture particularly its Minami district is expected to welcome a great surge of foreigners especially Chinese tourists considering its accessibility to Kansai International Airport. His study predicts that the city will continue to attract a growing number of foreigners by the year 2040.


A number of Japanese are supportive of such plans of expansion in view of its contribution to the local economy of the prefecture. However, some are also hesitant to open up a Chinatown in the City of Osaka as it would only create additional problems and issues to tackle. According to a local news reporter from the city “After next year’s Tokyo Olympics, we may see a replay of what happened in the 1980s, when former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone’s plan to attract 100,000 foreign students resulted in large numbers of illegal sojourners who became involved in organized crime.”


Reference: Friction growing in Osaka over rising foreign population


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