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History of KITAKYUSHU

Kitakyushu, an international, industrial and trade city with a population of one million, was established in February 1963 by the equal-basis amalgamation of five cities: Moji, Kokura, Wakamatsu, Yahata and Tobata.
In around 1600, the Kitakyushu Area was spotlighted for the first time in history. Kokura Castle was constructed during that time and the area subsequently prospered as a castle town becoming the center of governmental and commercial activities in Kyushu.
The Meiji government, formed in the latter half of the 19th century, noted the geographic advantages of the Kitakyushu area which had prospered as a key junction of marine and land traffic since olden times. In addition to the development of commerce, railroad lines and port facilities were rapidly constructed in the area; the City has since developed as one of the most important distribution bases in Japan.
Moreover, regarding the industrial aspect, Kitakyushu comprises one of the four largest industrial zones as an industrial base contributing to the manufacturing abilities of Japan, through the aggregation of such material industries as the steel, chemical, metal and ceramic industries, which began when the government-managed Yahata Steelworks, the largest steelworks in Asia, which was founded in 1901. Today, automobile-related industries are being established in this city one after another.
In addition, along with changes in the industrial structure in recent years, high-technology industries including industrial robots, IC-related products and biotechnologies are being generated in this area while some new regional movements are under way toward the advancement and diversification of regional industries such as joint research through cooperation of business, academic and governmental circles and development of new products by an interprofessional group.

1901

In 1901 the first government-managed steelworks in Japan were constructed in Kitakyushu. Taking advantage of this opportunity, this city developed with key industries, such as steel, chemical, electric and ceramic industries as a base, and played an important role in the modernization of Japan.

Government-managed Yahata Steelworks
Government-managed Yahata Steelworks

1963

Kitakyushu was established in 1963, through the equal-basis amalgamation of five adjacent cities, namely Moji, Kokura, Wakamatsu, Yahata and Tobata. It was the first instance in the world of a city merging in this way, and the United Nations gave it special note. In the same year, Kitakyushu became an ordinance-designated city with a population of one million people.

Five cities consolidated
Five cities consolidated

1970

Although Kitakyushu had developed favorably, because of the dollar and oil shocks of the 1970s and 1980s, the City was forced to change its industrial structure and create new regional policies.

Kokura Station
Kokura Station

At present

To revitalize Kitakyushu, three ports (sea port, airport and e-port) were constructed and new industries including the automobile, semiconductor and environment-related industries were promoted. Now as a hub city of a metropolitan sphere with a population of 2 million people, Kitakyushu is being regenerated as a city of energy and charm.

Uploader:

International Policy Division,
Planning and Coordination Bureau,
CITY OF KITAKYUSHU
1-1 Jonai, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-8501 JAPAN
Tel: 093-582-2146
(International Calling +81-93-582-2146)
Fax: 093-582-2176