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Environmental Future City, Kitakyushu

Kitakyushu-city aiming for the World’s Environmental Capital.
Kitakyushu-city is the birthplace of Japanese modern steel industry, is now the world’s 
leading environmental future city after overcoming serious environmental pollution 
while it contributed greatly to Japan’s industrial development.

   Higashida No.1 Blast Furnace

Situated at the northern end of Kyushu Island, Kitakyushu City is one of Japan’s 
20 government-decreed cities, with a population of 969,000
(according to the estimation as of May, 2013) and has an area of approx.490㎢.

In 1963, five municipal cities were equally merged to make Kitakyushu City, 
which was a very rare case in the world as each of the cities had such different 
personalities;Moji City flourished as an international trading port, Kokura City 
had lots of historical background as a Samurai town, Wakamatsu City was a 
busy coal port, and Yahata City and Tobata City had steel industry which greatly 
contributed to the industrial modernization of Japan.


Kitakyushu City has long been called the ‘Town of Manufacturing’ as its economy 
relies on such heavy chemical industries, such as steel, chemicals, and metal 
manufacturing, which occupy a much higher percentage of its gross product 
compared with other major cities in Japan.

Ever since the international trading ports were constructed in Moji and Wakamatsu. 
Japan’s steel industry began in Yawata in 1901, and many other manufacturing industries 
have originated here in Kitakyushu City, which has made the city a major driving force of 
Japan’s industrial development and made a gateway to Asian countries and regions.

Kitakyushu City experienced serious environmental pollution in the 1960’s. However, 
it has completely overcome these issues thanks to close cooperation with the 
government, industry, and academia. By fully utilizing a wide variety of technologies, 
know-hows, human resources, acquired during this process, it is continuously engaged 
in the creation and development of environmentally-friendly new technology. 
The ‘Eco-Town Project’ is one of the fine examples of Kitakyushu’s specific commitment 
towards environmental business and development in the field of recycling and innovative 


Especially Kitakyushu has been designated as the ‘Environmental Model City’ in 2008 
as the environmental future city in 2011. And also nominated as the ‘Model City for 
Green Growth’ by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD). 
Kitakyushu City has an incredibly important role as the world’s leading 
environmentally-friendly city.

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