The Consulate General of Italy in Osaka is active in a region of Japan that is particularly dynamic in commercial-industrial terms and innovative in academic-cultural terms. After the greater Tokyo area, the Osaka hub, eighth largest in the world (about 24 million inhabitants), constitutes the largest metropolitan area in Japan, with one-fifth of the entire country’s population residing there. The Consulate General’s area of responsibility in Osaka covers an area equal to about 42 percent of Japan’s entire land area, with a population of about 60 million (47 percent of the country) and a GDP that accounts for 44.6 percent of the entire national wealth (comparable to that of France or India and 20 percent higher than Italy’s GDP). The fundamentals of this region include the presence of cutting-edge technological infrastructure, world-leading manufacturing companies in their fields, prestigious universities (among the more than 2,000 in Japan), and the very strong interconnection between industry and academia. Last but not least, the fact that it is the main hub of trade flows between Japan, China and Korea. Osaka will host World EXPO 2025 (link) in 2025 on the theme “Building the Societies of the Future for Our Lives,” an event of planetary resonance for which these authorities expect some 28 million people to attend.
The Consulate General’s area of responsibility includes 29 of Japan’s 47 prefectures: Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Wakayama, Hyogo, Tottori, Okayama, Hiroshima, Shimane, Yamaguchi, Kagawa, Tokushima, Kochi, Ehime, Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa. It is home to many cities of substantial tourist importance, such as Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and 24 World Heritage Sites, both natural and cultural, including the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Himeji Castle, and Kiyomizu-dera.