a high quality of public services across the country.
The Sapporo Chamber of Commerce is the local organisation
representing businesses. It covers over 19,000 small and medium
size enterprises and its members are organised into six departments,
depending on their size, industry and category. This helps the
chamber make a better case for its members at the local and national
The aim of the chamber of commerce is to support its businesses
and to make their voice heard by politicians, local and national.
In contrast to other chambers in Japan, Sapporo’s is the only one
affiliated with an academy that is focused on improving human
resources in the area and ensuring they are relevant to the local
economy.⁶⁷ It has a board of approximately 68 members and
councillors, about 130 staff and an annual budget of ¥1.9b.⁶⁸
In closing, each of these city-regions are the product of their own
economic history. However, it is also striking how each of these
successful city-regions have a number of common elements: clear
city-region leadership; control over key powers to drive economic
growth; and greater financial autonomy to use and raise funding
for investment. Within England, our devolution journey has only
partially accepted these findings and our city-region mayors have not
been provided with commensurate powers and freedom to govern.
We need to go further and my conversations with our city-region
mayors reinforce this finding.
⁶⁶ https://www.sapporo-cci.or.jp/ 30/05/2019
⁶⁸ Sapporo Chamber of Commerce