KANSAI Close-up

[Columns]A Retrospective Look at Osaka and Kansai in 1995

This year marked an important milestone for the world:the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.For the Osaka-Kansai region, 1995 also brought a succession of traumatic events:The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, the unprecedented appreciation of the yen, and a series of bankruptcies and scandals in the financial industry.Amid this gloomy chain of events, the success of the Osaka APEC Meetings was by far the most encouraging news of the year. The meetings reaffirmed the Osaka-Kansai region's commitment to cooperation with the world, and the Asia-Pacific region in particular, for the prosperity of all.They also helped Kansai to emerge as a leader during an era increasingly characterized by decentralization and the growing importance of regional economies.