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Old 11-06-2012, 02:07 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Tokyo is often seen as the 'third' in the trinity of New York, London, Tokyo - the global control centres, but compared to those two cities it still seems sort of enigmatic, closed off, and decidedly Japanese. NY and London seem more international than as thoroughly American and British as Tokyo is Japanese.

Hong Kong isn't as huge but I'd say it's more international. It get's far more international visitors, something like 20 or 10 million depending on what stats you use, with Singapore not behind (incredibly in one list Singapore gets more than NYC). I haven't been to Tokyo, but you see many foreigners in HK and Singapore, and economically they are very well connected to the wider region of Asia and the West. Tokyo, for all it's size and prominence, has struck me as not being as international.

 
Old 11-06-2012, 04:39 AM
 
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You should remember that both Singapore and Hong Kong were colonized by the British for over 100 years. Japan was never really colonized by Western countries. Singapore and Hong Kong used to be the transit ports for the trades of the Great Britain and thus had become members of international English trading network. And later Hong Kong has become the financial center of investment banks, while Singapore has been developing into the biggest private banking center in Asia. Both attract many expats by their similarity to the Western lifestyle. There are a lot of Hong Kongers and Singaporeans using English names. If you go to Japan, you won't see many Japanese calling themselves John, Kevin, Jennifer, Amber, etc.
 
Old 11-06-2012, 05:21 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,361,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capsuleneo View Post
You should remember that both Singapore and Hong Kong were colonized by the British for over 100 years. Japan was never really colonized by Western countries. Singapore and Hong Kong used to be the transit ports for the trades of the Great Britain and thus had become members of international English trading network. And later Hong Kong has become the financial center of investment banks, while Singapore has been developing into the biggest private banking center in Asia. Both attract many expats by their similarity to the Western lifestyle. There are a lot of Hong Kongers and Singaporeans using English names. If you go to Japan, you won't see many Japanese calling themselves John, Kevin, Jennifer, Amber, etc.
Singapore is signifcantly more western, I would say, the prevalence of English in HK has declined since 1997, while in Singapore you never really feel lost as an English speaker. This is also apparent in their education systems. Many of the more Anglicised Hong Kongers left before the handover. Singapore better represents Asia while HK is more Chinese.
 
Old 11-06-2012, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Definitely true. All the reasons already stated, British colonies, English as a domimant language for many years, etc.

Also, Singapore had tons of immigrants from China, India, and a bit from the UK itself. So, that alone makes it feel more international.

Hong Kong had Brits that were able to freely live and work there, at any job they wanted, up until 1997.

Tokyo had none of that. I would say though that all 3 have probably a similar amount of international professionals working in them.

But what sets Singapore and HK apart is the usage of English being a strong part of their history, and the fact that with the British, they had opened up to others besides soley whoever it was who was simply born within their nation-state only, historically.
 
Old 07-29-2013, 11:31 PM
 
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The so called "trinity" of New York, London, Tokyo as global financial centers is based in the 1980s. Tokyo, while still a key financial hub, has long been replaced by Hong Kong in the "trinity" of global financial centers. As Time Magazine called "nylonkong". (A Tale Of Three Cities --- A Tale Of Three Cities - TIME)

Tokyo has always been too domestic oriented. It is an international financial center for Japan but not on a regional basis. Technically, one can describe the difference between a "global financial center" (more offshore focused activities) and an "international financial center" (onshore domestic focused). Tokyo for example, it’s primary a market place for domestic participants to which foreign players are granted access to Japan. Whereas London is characterized by foreigners trading with each other. Some talk about Shanghai, but like Tokyo it is very much domestically focused. That basically leaves Hong Kong and Singapore. The advantage that Hong Kong has its sheer size (HK is effectively integrating with the rest of the Pearl River Delta) over Singapore as well as a more liberalized media/society. In addition, it's well positioned at crossroad between northeast and southeast Asia. Singapore is the clear "red dot" in Southeast Asia (Asean) and has nicely solidifying its niche as the Zurich of Asia.
 
Old 07-29-2013, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Japan has a huge export industry, and Tokyo remains the world's largest metro GDP, yet I've always felt HK was more physically and economically connected.
 
Old 07-30-2013, 05:57 AM
 
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I don't feel Hong Kong is international at all. Hardly anyone except in the rich service industry can speak English at a conversational level. Only Hong Kong Island is slightly western, the rest is very Chinese.

Singapore is more western, and that's why Singapore is doing better because a lot of companies choose to move their headquarters to Singapore instead of Hong Kong.

I also find living conditions in Hong Kong to be pretty tough for the average citizen. In my opinion mainland china provides a better standard of living. I still like Hong Kong and its a cool city to visit. But I wouldn't want to live there.
 
Old 07-30-2013, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camlon View Post
I don't feel Hong Kong is international at all. Hardly anyone except in the rich service industry can speak English at a conversational level. Only Hong Kong Island is slightly western, the rest is very Chinese.

Singapore is more western, and that's why Singapore is doing better because a lot of companies choose to move their headquarters to Singapore instead of Hong Kong.

I also find living conditions in Hong Kong to be pretty tough for the average citizen. In my opinion mainland china provides a better standard of living. I still like Hong Kong and its a cool city to visit. But I wouldn't want to live there.
One could say the same in Paris. Not that many Parisians speak English that well. But yes, it's surprising how few in HK can speak English well. The ex-pat community in Singapore is also more integrated.
 
Old 08-01-2013, 05:44 AM
 
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I have only been to Hong Kong of these 3 cities. I definitely think HK is much more westernized than Mainland China as one can find English speakers there quite easily. Having visited HK recently I can say it has a very international feel and there are many non-Chinese (meaning people from all over the world) living and visiting there.
 
Old 08-01-2013, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Singapore
110 posts, read 215,557 times
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Both HK & Singapore have a large number of foreigners from all over the world so they both feel very international but I have never been to Tokyo so cannot compare.
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