The Three Largest Cities Issue

As mentioned in an earlier post, 月曜から夜更かし hammered the Fukuokans with statistics to get them to face the fact that Fukuoka is not the third largest city in Japan. Turns out, after doing more research, the program made some new discoveries that oppose their earlier research. So they went back to Fukuoka and a few other cities to hammer more people.

This is fun to watch.

First, despite the previous broadcast, Fukuokans who didn’t watch it still assumed that Fukuoka is the third largest city in Japan. So they went through the same process to make known that Fukuoka is not the third largest city. Then they further went on to ask, since Fukuoka is not the third largest city, did you think it is the fourth largest? The Fukuokan pride says yes.

There begins the mission to destroy that belief.

Population count of Fukuoka is ranked #8 nationwide, their GDP is ranked at #5, and not to forget the benchmark of all rankings, their number of Starbucks outlets is also ranked at #5. But this is only the beginning to the three largest city issue. Now that we’re done with Fukuoka, the next stop is to hammer Nagoya, which the program announced to be the third largest city in Japan.

Checking with the people of Nagoya, they appear to believe that the three largest cities in Japan are Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. This is incorrect. Nagoya is not amongst the three largest cities in Japan. Then where? It’s Yokohama.

Checking with the people of Yokohama, everyone believes that the three largest cities are Tokyo, Osaka, and Yokohama. Some of them even believe that Yokohama is ranked #1 before Tokyo (we’ll get back to this later). When this truth is conveyed to the people of Nagoya, they started complaining that 1) Yokohama doesn’t have the image of a city since it’s in Kanagawa, 2) There’s nothing much to do in Yokohama, 3) Yokohama is too close to Tokyo so it’s not fair.

Time to hammer the Nagoyans.

Population count of Nagoya stands at 2.26 million while Yokohama has 3.69 million people. The GDP of Nagoya is at 11.8 trillion yen while Yokohama’s is at 12.6 trillion. That’s only a 1 trillion yen difference. And when Japanese people don’t admit defeat, you use Starbucks. The number of Starbucks outlets in Nagoya is now at 41 while Yokohama has 43 outlets. End of story for Nagoya.

But this is still not the end of the story on this issue. Going to Osaka, most people there appear to think that Tokyo and Osaka are the two largest cities in Japan, and have no clue which is the third. However, this is incorrect. So if Osaka is not the second largest city after Tokyo, then where? It’s Yokohama.

When this is conveyed to the people of Osaka, they feel that Yokohama doesn’t have the image of a city either. In the words of one of the interviewees, Yokohama has the image of what the Japanese calls “B級グルメ (loosely translated: B-grade gourmet).” So it appears that to the people of Osaka, takoyaki is an A級グルメ.

Time for a showdown.

Against Yokohama’s population of 3.69 million, Osaka only has 2.27 million. However, while Yokohama’s GDP stands at 12.6 trillion yen, Osaka triumphs at 18.7 trillion. This puts them at a tie of 1-1. As usual, the deciding factor comes down to our favorite coffee maker. Yokohama’s 43 Starbucks outlet thrashes Osaka’s 37. Game over.

Returning to the issue of Yokohama being ranked #1 over Tokyo, it seems apt for the program staff to put the people of Yokohama in their place. Tokyo’s population in the 23 wards is more than double that of Yokohama’s (8.95 million vs. 3.69 million); GDP is more than 7 times (92.4 trillion vs. 12.6 trillion); and the number of Starbucks outlet is more than 5 times (241 vs. 43).

The end.

On a separate note, Starbucks is indeed opening an outlet in Tottori, which was announced 11 days after the previous broadcast.

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