Kantō region

Last updated

Kanto region

Kanto Region in Japan.svg
The Kanto region in comparison to the rest of Japan
Closeup map of the areas within the Kanto region
  Total32,423.90 km2 (12,518.94 sq mi)
 (October 1, 2010)
  Density1,300/km2 (3,400/sq mi)
 (nominal; 2012) [1] [2]
  Total$2.5 trillion
  Per capita$60,000
Time zone UTC+9 (JST)
Geofeatures map of Kanto Geofeatures map of Kanto Japan ja.svg
Geofeatures map of Kanto

The Kanto region (関東地方, Kantō-chihō) is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. [3] In a common definition, the region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 45 percent of the land area is the Kanto Plain. The rest consists of the hills and mountains that form the land borders. According to the official census on October 1, 2010, by the Japan Statistics Bureau, the population was 42,607,376, [4] amounting to approximately one third of the total population of Japan.


Other definitions

The Kantō regional governors' association (関東地方知事会, Kantō chihō chijikai) assembles the prefectural governors of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka. [5] [6]

In the police organization of Japan, the National Police Agency's supervisory office for Kantō (関東管区警察局, Kantō kanku keisatsu-kyoku) is responsible for the Prefectural police departments of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka. [7] Tokyo is not part of Kantō or any NPA region, its police has a dedicated liaison office with the national agency of its own.

The Kantō Regional Development Bureau (関東地方整備局, Kantō chihō seibi-kyoku) of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in the national government is responsible for eight prefectures generally (Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Yamanashi) and parts of the waterways in two others (Nagano and Shizuoka). [8] The Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry (関東経済産業局, Kantō keizai-sangyō-kyoku) is responsible for eleven prefectures: Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka. [9]


The heartland of feudal power during the Kamakura period and again in the Edo period, Kanto became the center of modern development. Within the Greater Tokyo Area and especially the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area, Kanto houses not only Japan's seat of government but also the nation's largest group of universities and cultural institutions, the greatest population and a large industrial zone. Although most of the Kanto plain is used for residential, commercial or industrial construction, it is still farmed. Rice is the principal crop, although the zone around Tokyo and Yokohama has been landscaped to grow garden produce for the metropolitan market.[ citation needed ]

A watershed moment of Japan's modern history took place in the late Taishō period: the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923. The quake, which claimed more than 100,000 lives and ravaged the Tokyo and Yokohama areas, occurred at a time when Japan was still reeling from the economic recession in reaction to the high-flying years during World War I.[ citation needed ]

Operation Coronet, part of Operation Downfall, the proposed Allied invasion of Japan during World War II, was scheduled to land at the Kantō plain. Most of the United States military bases on the island of Honshu are situated on the Kantō plain. These include Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, and Camp Zama.[ citation needed ]

The name Kanto literally means "East of the Barrier". The name Kanto is nowadays generally considered to mean the region east (東) of the Hakone checkpoint (関所). An antonym of Kanto, "West of the Barrier" means Kansai region, which lies western Honshu and was the center of feudal Japan.[ citation needed ]

After the Great Kanto earthquake many people in Kanto started creating art with different varieties of colors. They made art of earthquake and small towns to symbolize the small towns destroyed in the quake.[ citation needed ]

Mount Nikko-Shirane, in the Kanto region Mt Nikko.jpeg
Mount Nikkō-Shirane, in the Kantō region


North and South

The most often used subdivision of the region is dividing it to "North Kantō" (北関東, Kita-Kantō), consisting of Ibaraki, Tochigi, and Gunma Prefectures, and "South Kantō" (南関東, Minami-Kantō), consisting of Saitama (sometimes classified North),[ citation needed ][ by whom? ] Chiba, the Tokyo Metropolis (sometimes singulated),[ citation needed ] and Kanagawa Prefectures.[ citation needed ] South Kantō is often regarded as synonymous with the Greater Tokyo Area. As part of Japan's attempts to predict earthquakes, an area roughly corresponding to South Kantō has been designated an 'Area of Intensified Observation' by the Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction. [10]

The Japanese House of Representatives' divides it into the North Kantō (北関東, Kita-Kantō) electorate which consists of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Saitama Prefectures, Tokyo electorate, and the South Kantō (南関東, Minami-Kantō) electorate which consists of Chiba, Kanagawa and Yamanashi Prefectures. (Note that Yamanashi is out of Kantō region in the orthodox definition.)

Keirin's South Kantō (南関東, Minami-Kantō) consists of Chiba, Kanagawa and Shizuoka Prefectures.

East and West

This division is not often but sometimes used.

Inland and Coastal

This division is sometimes used in economics and geography. The border can be modified if the topography is taken for prefectural boundaries.

Greater Kantō

The Japanese national government defines the National Capital Region (首都圏, Shuto-ken) as Kantō region plus Yamanashi Prefecture. Japan's national public broadcaster NHK uses Kantō-kō-shin-etsu (関東甲信越) involving Yamanashi, Nagano and Niigata Prefectures for regional programming and administration.


The Kantō region is the most highly developed, urbanized, and industrialized part of Japan. Tokyo and Yokohama form a single industrial complex with a concentration of light and heavy industry along Tokyo Bay. Other major cities in the area include Kawasaki (in Kanagawa Prefecture); Saitama (in Saitama Prefecture); and Chiba (in Chiba Prefecture). Smaller cities, farther away from the coast, house substantial light and automotive industries. The average population density reached 1,192 persons per square kilometre in 1991.


The Kantō region largely corresponds to the Tokyo metropolitan area with the exception that it does not contain Yamanashi prefecture.

The Tokyo metropolitan area has the largest city economy in the world and is one of the major global center of trade and commerce along with New York City, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Paris, Seoul and London.

Greater Tokyo Area 2005

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building TokyoMetropolitanGovernmentOffice.jpg
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
PrefectureGross Prefecture Product
(in billion Yen)
Gross Prefecture Product
(in billion US$)

Source [12]

GDP (purchasing power parity)

Tokyo Tower Tokyo Tower and around Skyscrapers.jpg
Tokyo Tower

The agglomeration of Tokyo is the world's largest economy, with the largest gross metropolitan product at purchasing power parity (PPP) in the world according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. [13]

Kanto Region Metropolitan Employment Area

Employed Persons 000's16,23416,38112,760
Production (billion US$)1,7971,491358
Production Manufacturing (billion US$)216476159
Private Capital Stock (billion US$)3,6182,631368
Social Overhead Capital (billion US$)1,6071,417310
1 US Dollar (Japanese yen)87.78094.060226.741

Sources:, [14] Conversion rates - Exchange rates - OECD Data


The population of Kanto region is very similar to that of Greater Tokyo Area [15] [ better source needed ] except that it does not contain Yamanashi Prefecture and contains the rural populations throughout the region.

Per Japanese census data, [16] and [17] Kanto region's population has continuously grown but the population growth rate has slowed since early 1992.

The Kanto region at 2018 has a population at around 43.3 million people. [18]

Historical population
1920 11,127,000    
1930 13,773,000+23.8%
1940 16,866,000+22.5%
1950 18,241,000+8.2%
1960 23,003,000+26.1%
1970 29,496,000+28.2%
1980 34,896,000+18.3%
1990 38,542,000+10.4%
2000 40,433,711+4.9%
2010 42,607,376+5.4%
2018 43,300,000+1.6%

See also



  1. "International comparison of GDP of Japan's Prefectures: Tokyo's GDP is bigger than Indonesia's?!". realestate.co.jp. August 13, 2015. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  2. "Yearly Average Rates". UKForex. Archived from the original on March 16, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  3. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kanto" in Japan Encyclopedia, pp. 478-479 , p. 478, at Google Books
  4. "政府統計の総合窓口". E-stat.go.jp. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  5. Saitama prefectural government: Kantō regional governors' association (in Japanese)
  6. Chiba prefectural government: Kantō regional governors' association (in Japanese)
  7. National Police Agency: Kantō regional police supervision office, Jurisdiction (in Japanese)
  8. MLIT: Kanto Regional Development Bureau (in Japanese)
  9. METI: Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, Organizational overview (in Japanese)
  10. Avances en prevención de desastres sísmicos en Japón. Outline of countermeasures for the Tōkai earthquake (Section B) Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine N Honda, published March 1994, accessed 2011-03-25
  11. "Annual Average Exchange Rate". Archived from the original on April 1, 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  12. 平成19年度県民経済計算 Archived 2010-12-20 at the Wayback Machine
  13. "City Mayors reviews the richest cities in the world in 2005". www.citymayors.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
  14. Yoshitsugu Kanemoto. "Metropolitan Employment Area (MEA) Data". Center for Spatial Information Science, The University of Tokyo. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Tokyo_Area Tokyo MEA
  16. Tokyo 1995-2020 population statistics
  17. Kanto Region 1920-2000 population statistics
  18. Kanto 2020


Related Research Articles

Honshu Largest island of Japan

Honshu, historically called Hondo, is the largest and most populous main island of Japan. It is located south of Hokkaidō across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyūshū across the Kanmon Straits. The island separates the Sea of Japan, which lies to its north and west, from the North Pacific Ocean to the south and east. It is the 7th largest island in the world, and the 2nd most populous after the Indonesian island of Java.

Chūbu region Region of Japan

The Chūbu region, Central region, or Central Japan is a region in the middle of Honshū, Japan's main island. In a wide, classical definition, it encompasses nine prefectures (ken): Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi.

Saitama Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Saitama Prefecture is a landlocked prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of Honshu. Saitama Prefecture has a population of 7,338,536 and has a geographic area of 3,797 km². Saitama Prefecture borders Tochigi Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture to the north, Nagano Prefecture to the west, Yamanashi Prefecture to the southwest, Tokyo to the south, Chiba Prefecture to the southeast, and Ibaraki Prefecture to the northeast.

Greater Tokyo Area Place in Japan

The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, consisting of the Kantō region of Japan as well as the prefecture of Yamanashi of the neighboring Chūbu region. In Japanese, it is referred to by various terms, one of the most common being Capital Region.

National Police Agency (Japan)

The National Police Agency is an agency administered by the National Public Safety Commission of the Cabinet Office of the Cabinet of Japan, and is the central agency of the Japanese police system, and the central coordinating agency of law enforcement in situations of national emergency in Japan.

Transport in Greater Tokyo Overview of the transportation network in Greater Tokyo

The transport network in Greater Tokyo includes public and private rail and highway networks; airports for international, domestic, and general aviation; buses; motorcycle delivery services, walking, bicycling, and commercial shipping. While the nexus is in the central part of Tokyo, every part of the Greater Tokyo Area has rail or road transport services. The sea and air transport is available from a limited number of ports for the general public.

This page lists Japan-related articles with romanized titles beginning with the letters Y–Z. For names of people, please list by surname. Please also ignore particles when listing articles.

Tokyo Gas Japanese natural gas utility company

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., founded in 1885, is the primary provider of natural gas to the main cities of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Yamanashi, and Nagano. As of 2012, Tokyo Gas is the largest natural gas utility in Japan.

Kantō Plain Largest Plain in Japan

The Kantō Plain is the largest plain in Japan, and is located in the Kantō region of central Honshū. The total area 17,000 km2 covers more than half of the region extending over Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture.

Tokyo District Meteorological Observatory

Tokyo District Meteorological Observatory, abbreviated as TDMO, is one of the five District Meteorological Observatories of the Japan Meteorological Agency. It has jurisdiction over the Kantō and Chūbu regions: Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Yamanashi, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, Mie, Ishikawa, Toyama and Fukui, and is responsible for acquiring meteorological, hydrological, seismological and volcanological data and forecasting local weather conditions in those areas through its local meteorological observatories. It also fills the role of Region Central Forecast Office for the Kantō region. The TDMO is based inside the JMA Meteorological Satellite Center located in Kiyose, Tokyo.

Eastern Army (Japan)

The Eastern Army is one of five active Armies of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force headquartered at Camp Asaka in Nerima, Tokyo. Its responsibility is the defense of the Kantō and the Northern half of the Chūbu region.

Kantō dialect

The Kantō dialects are a group of Japanese dialects spoken in the Kantō region. The Kantō dialects include the Tokyo dialect which is the basis of modern standard Japanese. Along with the Tōhoku dialect, Kantō dialects have been characterized by the use of a suffix -be or -ppe; Kantō speakers were called Kantō bei by Kansai speakers in the Edo period. Eastern Kantō dialects share more features with the Tōhoku dialect. After the Pacific War, the southern Kantō regions such as Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures developed as satellite cities of Tokyo, and today traditional dialects in these areas have been almost entirely replaced by standard Japanese.

Kantō Soccer League (関東サッカーリーグ) is a Japanese football league covering the Kantō region, the prefectures of Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Saitama, Tochigi, Tokyo and Yamanashi. Its area is thus coextensive with the National Capital Region.

Each modern prefecture has a unique flag, most often a bicolour geometric highly stylised design (mon), often incorporating the letters of Japanese writing system and resembling company logos. A distinct feature of these flags is that they use a palette of colours not usually found in flags, including orange, purple, aquamarine and brown.