Kitakyushu Industrial Zone was one of the four major industrial zones in Japan, after Keihin Industrial Zone, Hanshin Industrial Zone and Chukyo Industrial Zone.
Kitakyushu Industrial Zone, which is located mainly in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, has its origin in the Yawata Steel Works run by the government, built in 1901. Although this industrial zone used to be one of the leading industrial zone in the country, it gradually shrunk in accordance with the transition of Japan’s industrial structure from heavy industries to high-tech industries. And now, it is no more than the 8th largest industrial zone in the economy. Kitakyushu City, which is my hometown, is a typical industrial city with a population of one million and came into being by merger of five cities in 1963. In addition to heavy industries, car industries and other industries with cutting edge technology are thriving recently. The picture, taken from the top of Takato-yama hill in Wakamatsu Ward, shows the central part of the city. The red suspension bridge over Dokai Bay is Wakato-ohashi, that connects Wakamatsu Ward on this side with Tobata Ward on the other side. This bridge was the longest bridge in the eastern part of the world when it was built in 1963.
By Masahisa Takaki.
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