Tokyo City Performance, Brand Image and Reputation

Tokyo, together with the Greater Tokyo Area, is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with 39 million residents. A capital city since 1869, Tokyo has extensive economic, political and social power in the Asian region. But how is the Japanese metropolis performing in global rankings that measure the competitiveness of cities in terms of reputation and influence, business attractiveness and sustainability?

Learn about:

  • Tokyo’s reputation and performance as city brand;
  • The global power of Tokyo;
  • Tokyo’s position in indices of environmental sustainability;
  • Tokyo as a hub for creativity and innovation.

Tokyo city brand performance and reputation

Positioned 3rd in the 2017 Global Power City Index, Tokyo is the highest-ranking Asian city, ahead of Singapore (5th) and Seoul (6th). This is Tokyo’s best ranking so far in this study on the global power of cities. The city performs especially well in research and development (3rd), economy and cultural interaction (4th) and accessibility (6th), while environment (12th) and livability (14th) rank somewhat lower.

Tokyo is most appreciated by researchers, who consider it 3rd in their list of preference. But it is also highly evaluated by visitors (4th), managers (5th), artists and residents (both 6th).

Positioned 12th in the City RepTrak (2017) study, Tokyo is also the highest-ranking Asian city in terms of reputation. It scores especially well for the reputation of its economy, where it ranks 2nd – only after New York.

Tokyo is also the regional leader in Anholt-GfK’s City Brands Index (2017), where it drew a tie for 11th position with Vancouver.


Place equity in Tokyo

Tokyo took a joint 7th position in the Ipsos Top Cities Index (2017), a study which asked people in 26 countries worldwide which city they felt were best to live in, do business in, and visit. Here, Tokyo proves to be especially popular among younger people, as Generation Z (3rd) and Millenials (5th) where the ones to position it highest in their list of preference.

Resonance Consultancy’s World’s Best Cities Report ranks Tokyo 5th in its 2018 index. Being the global leader in the pillar of place, its performance is also very outstanding in programming (3rd), prosperity, and product (6th). However, its score in promotion (43rd) and people (125th) is a great deal lower.

In terms of living expenses, Tokyo ranks 2nd in the 2018 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, which means that, after Hong Kong, it is the most expensive city in the world for expats.

The high cost of living might scare some away, but it’s probably one of the reasons why Tokyo was ranked as the safest city in the world in the 2017 Safe Cities Index. Here, it is the global leader in digital security and holds second position in health security, and 4th in personal security.


Tokyo’s sustainability performance

Tokyo ranks 45th in the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index (2016). Here, it scores highest in the profit category, ranking 28th, while people (44th) and planet (50th) receive a lower score.

The Green City Index (2012), which focused exclusively on environmental aspects, found Tokyo to perform above average in Asia. Its best performances are in the areas of water, energy and CO2, thanks to highly efficient energy consumption and strong policies on energy use and climate change.


Innovation in Tokyo

This year, Tokyo is the global leader of the Innovation Cities Index (2018) that measures the potential of cities as an innovation economy. Tokyo ascended two positions in this year’s ranking, while London had to concede its leading position.

The Global Cities Index (2017), measuring the capacity of cities to disrupt through innovation, positioned Tokyo 4th for the second consecutive year. Here, Tokyo stood out in the category of human capital, thanks to its high percentage of residents with university degrees.

Tokyo’s ranking in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (2018) is 12th, which once again makes it the strongest performer in Asia. The city’s capacity to attract talent is especially strong, ranking 8th in this category, right after London.


Analysis by Maria Lindmäe. Last updated August 2018.


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The Editorial Team

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