Population: 2.6 million

Among Osaka’s largest companies are Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.; Osaka Gas Co. Ltd.; adhesive tape maker Nitto Denko Corp.; Sharp Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Panasonic’s parent.

Unemployment: 4.6 percent in the Kinki area around Osaka, in October 2007, compared with 4 percent for all of Japan.

Office vacancy rate in Osaka City: 5.5 percent (November 2007)

Number of businesses: 201,457 (2006)

Number of employees in the city: 2.1 million (2006)

Osaka is located two-and-a-half hours west of Tokyo by bullet train.

Sources: Osaka Municipal Government, Osaka Prefecture Government; City of Osaka