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Kyoto topped the list of powerful Japanese cities for the third straight year, an affiliate of major Japanese real estate developer Mori Building Co. has said.

Osaka rose to second from third, swapping places with Fukuoka, according to the 2020 rankings compiled by the Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies. Tokyo’s densely populated 23 special wards were not covered by the city list, announced Thursday, but were rated separately.

A total of 109 major cities were rated by 83 indicators in six categories — economy and business, research and development, cultural interaction, daily life and livability, environment, and accessibility.

Kyoto received the highest scores among the surveyed cities in the cultural and research categories, while Osaka, which has a strong economy, saw its total score increase thanks to improvements in livability. Fukuoka had high scores for its economy and accessibility.

The impacts of the novel coronavirus outbreak were not reflected in the latest rankings, according to the institute.

The epidemic is expected to “trigger the movement of people to nonurban areas from urban areas to some extent,” said Hiroo Ichikawa, professor emeritus at Meiji University and executive director of the foundation.

Cities need to work on adapting to changes in lifestyles caused by the virus crisis, such as the growing use of teleworking, while utilizing their own strengths, he added.

The institute said that Chiyoda Ward topped the rankings of the 23 Tokyo wards, receiving high scores in the economy and livability categories.

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