HOME > Kansai's Attractiveness: > Open to the World > Creating the Infrastructure Required For International Exchange

Creating the Infrastructure Required For International Exchange

Hanshin Port

Various large-scale construction projects have been initiated in Kansai from the later part of the 20th century, expediting the construction of the infrastructure necessary for a society to interact on a global scale.

 One of these major projects was the construction of the Kansai International Airport, which was completed in September 1994. Constructed with due consideration for the environment, the airport was opened with one 3,500 meter-long runway, located 5 km off the Senshu coast in Osaka Bay. With a variety of access routes available, including railways, expressways, and marine transportation facilities, the airport is less than an hour away from the Osaka and Kobe urban centers, and it features both international and domestic lines. Guests can move between the international and domestic lines merely by going up or down only one floor within the terminal building. In August 2007, a second 4,000 meter runway was opened for service on a second man-made island on the outside of the existing man-made island, providing the necessary elements for an international hub airport providing 24-hour round-the-clock service, the first of its kind in Japan.

Osaka International Convention Center

As for other international hub airports in Kansai, there is the Osaka International Airport (Itami) with two parallel runways, one of which is 3,000 meters long, located on the border of Osaka and Hyogo prefectures and the Kobe Airport, with a 2,500 meter runway constructed to meet the increasing aviation demands in the 21st century and located about 3 km offshore from Port Island.
 The Super Hub Port Project was initiated to increase Japan's international competitive capability in the field of container ports, and in 2004, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport specified the Hanshin Port (Osaka and Kobe), the Keihin Port and the Ise Port as International Hub Ports. Furthermore, the three international trading ports in Osaka Bay were considered as one port facility, and port entrance taxes were unified as part of a program to make the port more accessible from the cost aspect. This unification process was realized in December of 2007 with the establishment of the Hanshin Port. In 2010, the Hanshin Port and the Keihin Port were both selected as “International Container Ship Strategic Ports” by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism. Now these ports will go on to compete against other international ports all over the world.
 eanwhile, on the Sea of Japan there is the Tsugaru Port in Fukui Prefecture and the Maizuru Port of Kyoto Prefecture with regularly scheduled service between Dalian in China, Pusan in Korea, and Vladivostok in the Russian Federation. The City of Sakaiminato (Tottorri Prefecture) is expanding its port facilities, aiming to provide an international trading port under the "Northeast Asia Gateway Concept" promotion. In addition, Kansai has a dense network of railways and expressways providing transportation between the various municipalities.

Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center

 The number of international conferences held in Kansai accounts for 30% to 40% of the total nationwide, and there are many convention facilities available, such as the Kyoto International Conference Center, the Osaka International Convention Center, the Intex Osaka (International Exhibition Center, Osaka), the Kobe International Conference Center and the Kobe International Exhibition Hall, and the Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center, providing sufficient capability to hold such international conferences. In April of 2005, the Kyoto Akasaka Palace was completed and the facility features Japanese architecture, taking full advantage of the traditional technology and design prevalent in Kyoto, from the irimoya style roof employed, the one-story construction, to the Japanese garden, and the furnishings. Today, the Kyoto Akasaka Palace functions as a State Guesthouse and great expectations are held for the facility as the stage for diplomacy and international exchange.