City of Osaka

Port & Harbor Bureau, City of Osaka

Port & Harbor Bureau

Bureau Outline

Bureau Outline

In 1897, in responding to the citizens’strong belief that "the prosperity of Osaka depends on its port", the Osaka Municipal Government decided to develop a municipal port with modern facilities by making a huge investment amounting to 20 times the budget of the city at the time. On September 1st of the same year, the Osaka Municipal Government Chikko Port Office headed by the former Home Ministry Public Works Bureau Director General and Prefectural Governor, Mr. Sutezo Nishimura, was established. Under the director of the office and site manager, there were seven departments: General Affairs; Accounting; Supplies; Construction; Instruments; Purchasing; and Material Testing. With construction nearing completion and the new development opening for use, the construction office also undertook a managerial role, and in February 1911, the Port Office was replaced by the Port and Harbor Department. Early in the Taisho era, port traffic increased substantially in line with the shipping industry boom accompanying WWI. In January 1914, organizational changes were made to transform the department into the much larger the Osaka Port and Harbor Division. As the port developed further, it became busier, and the work force was expanded accordingly. As part of efforts to strengthen the maritime transportation in wartime, the Division was elevated to the status of the Osaka Port and Harbor Bureau, with the personnel system rearranged correspondingly.

Following the destruction of WWII, port facilities were severely damaged, fewer ships were calling and construction works were halted. In April 1946, the Osaka Port and Harbor Bureau was downsized to a department.
However, with the devise of the Osaka Port Reconstruction Plan, the Port and Harbor Department was re-elevated to the Bureau with thirteen sections across three departments and one project office in July 1947, which was prior to the start of the redevelopment works. In June 1951, before the Osaka Municipal Government became the port administrator under the Ports and Harbors Act, the personnel system was once again reorganized.

On January 1st, 1952, the Osaka Municipal Government was entrusted with direct control of the harbor, and in April 1957, the Port and Harbor Bureau was expanded to incorporate administrative and engineering divisions.
In April 1958, the Industrial Site Development Division was established in accordance with the start of the project to develop waterfront industrial site in Nanko. Although the Division was downgraded to a department in July 1965, it was revived in an expanded format as the Nanko Development Division with the formulation of the Nanko Mercantile Port Plan. In April 1982, when a comprehensive port and harbor development plan incorporating the reclaiming land of Nanko and Hokko was needed, the Port and Harbor Bureau restructured its organization, which led to the creation of three divisions: Administration; Comprehensive Planning; and Construction.

Then, on April 1, 2005, the Bureau again restructured itself, this time resulting in 3 divisions and 9 departments. Three divisions previously called Administration; Comprehensive Planning; and Construction were transformed into Financial Management and Administration; Waterfront Promotion and Development; and Planning and Construction. With this organizational change, the Bureau hoped to achieve: strengthening management functions in port-related businesses by incorporating business principles; improving disaster prevention measures against Nankai and Tonankai earthquakes; revitalizing waterfront areas as well as promoting land selling and attracting enterprises in an integrated manner in order to secure financial resources for the redemption of the bond which would hit its peak in the years to come; and establishing a well-planned and efficient maintenance and repair system. On April 1st, 2007, the Municipal Government eliminated all of its departments that had been placed under divisions, and with a hope to create a flexible and effective organization under the leadership of a director, it officially launched a system in which an assistant director would be given certain decision- making authority.

To cope with various challenges such as: how to stabilize port management; what to do with the Waterfront Promotion and Development Division of which effective date was due; and how effectively the maintenance and operation of facilities under the control of the Bureau could be upgraded, another restructuring efforts were made on April 1st, 2010, which resulted in 12 groups responsible for each area under 3 divisions. Three major decisions made are: (1) in order to stabilize port management, the General Affairs Division is set up, which upgrades management and planning functions by serving as a comprehensive management body of the Bureau; (2) the role of the Waterfront Promotion and Development Division should be reviewed, but as now is the critical time to promote waterfront community development under the collaboration between Prefectural Government and Municipal Government, and the public and private sectors, the Division will be kept for the time being to promote development of Cosmosquare and Yumeshima and other areas; (3) the Planning and Construction Division should work on formulating the port and harbor plan and creating an efficiently-operating port by taking advantage of enhanced port logistics, and departments that had been responsible for maintenance and repair works became unified in order to improve maintenance and operation works on the Bureau's facilities.
For the purpose of strengthening the reclaimed land sales,Waterfront Promotion and Development Division changed its name to "Land Sales Division" on April 1st,2012.