Most manufacturing activity is confined to an industrial-urban belt running from the Tokyo metropolitan region southward to northern part of Kyushu Island within which are located four of Japan’s largest industrial nodes: Tokyo- Yokohama, Nagoya, Kobe-Osaka, and Kitakyushu. In addition, an almost continuous series of manufacturing towns flank the Inland Sea.
A few secondary manufacturing districts are located in both coasts of Central Honshu, and in southwest Hokkaido. Of these, Tokyo- Yokohama region accounts for nearly one- third of Japan’s total industrial production. Manufacturing is highly diversified in this region, ranging from the production of iron and steel machinery to publishing, shipbuilding, electrical and
The port of Yokohama has an eastward trade orientation toward North America. Nagoya industrial complex is less diversified. Textiles and ceramic pottery are the two important products, although a few other industries are also represented. Kobe-Osaka region emphasizes on heavier industries such as shipbuilding, diesel plants, but also contains Japan’s major textile, chemical and cement industries.
Kobe is an important overseas port with westward orientation towards Southeast Asia. The fourth region is a sprawling belt of a continuous string of manufacturing towns all along the margins of the Inland Sea with Kitakyushu at the western tip. The region produces such diverse goods as cement, glass, chemicals, sugar, beer, steel fabrications and ships. The region is an important funnel for a large number of Japanese imports because of its proximity to other Asian nations which are Japan’s chief exporters (the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and China).
Japan is now a world’s manufacturing giant, ranking second only to the United States. It is a shipbuilder, a major auto maker, world’s foremost producer of crude steel, synthetic rubber, aluminum plastics, cement, paper, cotton yarn chemicals, precision goods (notably cam eras), electric and electronic equipment (including computers and telecommunications materials) and petrochemicals, and has some of the world’s largest and most advanced industrial plants.