Waterfront areas along Tokyo Bay have been commercialized rapidly and are creating many jobs in an otherwise stagnant economy, according to a government report released Tuesday.

The workforce in service-oriented businesses around Tokyo Bay has surged about 70 percent during the past 10 years, according to the fiscal 2002 white paper on development and infrastructures in the metropolitan area.

Cabinet ministers approved the report, which was submitted by Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Chikage Ogi.

About 130 million people visited these waterfront areas, which embrace newly developed business and commercial districts in Tokyo and the Minato Mirai 21 district in Yokohama, in the year through March, the report says.

Foreign visitors to the Yokohama area totaled 400,000 and those to Tokyo Disney Resort came to 250,000, it said, adding the bay-side areas “have become a key point for international exchanges.”

The total workforce on reclaimed land along Tokyo Bay rose 16 percent, with sizable growth seen in service-oriented, wholesale and retail sectors, although the number of employees in all industries has leveled off on a nationwide basis, the report says.

In addition, the construction of large condominiums has been centering on man-made islands as well as waterfront sites left vacant by factory and plant relocations in recent years, according to the report.

The trend is reflected in the fact that the amount of available condominiums in those areas increased to about 16 percent of the total in the entire Tokyo metropolitan area in 2001 from about 5 percent in 1997, it said.

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