Port of Nagoya
Review and History

The Port of Nagoya is the capital of Aichi Prefecture in east central Japan. It is also one of the country's busiest industrial centers. Located at the head of Ise Bay off the Pacific Ocean, the Port of Nagoya is about 20 kilometers northwest of the Port of Kinuura and almost 140 kilometers east-northeast of the Port of Osaka. The Port of Nagoya is Japan's third biggest incorporated city and its fourth most populous metropolitan area. In 2005, the Port of Nagoya was home to over 2.2 million people, and more than 8.7 million people live in the metropolitan area.



Photo by M.Minderhoud

The Port of Nagoya is one of the country's busiest and most important ports. The city's central location and its abundant hydroelectric power have stimulated heavy industry in the region. The Port of Nagoya's traditional industries produced timepieces, sewing machines, and bicycles. Modern industries produce chemicals, special steels, oil, and petrochemicals. Shipbuilding, aviation, and automotive industries have also flourished in the Port of Nagoya.

Port History

The Port of Nagoya got its name from the Nagona manor that was built there in the 12th Century AD. The manor thrived for two centuries, and the locals started calling the whole area by the same name.

The Port of Nagoya played a critical role in Japan's history based on three of its most famous citizens: Tokugawa Ieyasu, Oda Nobunaga, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Each of these men wanted to unify Japan under one government. Tokugawa Ieyasu achieved this goal when he won the Battle of Sekigahara and founded the long-lived Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled the country for 250 years.

Mode Spiral Towers

Mode Spiral Towers

Photo by Kansai explorer

After establishing his rule, Tokugawa commanded that the Nagoya Castle be built for his son. Then he instructed the people of nearby Kiyosu to settle around the castle, founding the infant town. The early Port of Nagoya grew into a city with an economy supported by cotton, lumber, and ceramics.

In the Meiji period, when Japan finally opened to the world, the Port of Nagoya industrialized quickly and created transportation links with the rest of Japan so that it could exports its goods. By the coming of World War I, the Port of Nagoya was famous for its foundries and its exports of machinery and heavy products. These exports continued to feed the local economy through the end of the 1930s.

The automotive industry was born in the Port of Nagoya during the 1920s, and it is still important today. Toyota Motor Corporation started here as a loom-making company. In the 1930s, Toyota started making automobiles. Today, it is the world's biggest automaker, and it dominates the Port of Nagoya economy along with Mitsubishi and Honda.

Nagoya TV tower<br>oldest TV tower in Japan

Nagoya TV tower
oldest TV tower in Japan

Photo by Benjamin Hollis

The Port of Nagoya's manufacturing facilities were drafted into the production of military goods to support Japan's World War II efforts. This made it a priority target for Allied bombers. During the war, almost a quarter of the city was destroyed, and almost half of its people fled to the countryside. The end of World War II brought a new beginning for the Port of Nagoya. As it was rebuilt, wide streets and boulevards were created, making room for automobiles and modern buildings.

Today, the Port of Nagoya is one of the country's most important economic drivers. The headquarters of international corporations are located here. Toyota, Brother Industries, Suzuki, Honda, Noritake, Olympus, Yamaha, Daido Steel, INAX, Makita and many others are based in the Port of Nagoya. The Port of Nagoya was in the enviable position of paying for development as it occurred, unlike other cities that borrowed heavily for development. For this reason, the city has not felt the serious impacts of the post-bubble recession as deeply as other large metropolitan centers around the world.

The Port of Nagoya's robust economy has attracted many foreigners. Today, there is a flourishing community of Japanese-Brazilian immigrants to contribute greatly to the economy. The Port of Nagoya creates more than 1.7 million jobs directly or indirectly, accounting for over one-quarter of all employment in Aichi Prefecture. This means that one of every four people is employed in port-related activities.

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