Given the small and narrow territory, the relationship between people and land in Japan tends to be tenser than that in other countries. The construction of satellite towns is not planned to disperse downtown population but to check the influx of rural population.
From the late 1950s to the 1960s, Japan set up seven residence-themed satellite towns in the suburbs 25 to 60 kilometers away from Tokyo, a site near railway or expressway trunk lines. However, those satellite towns suffered from monotonous function and lack of living amenities, making their material and intellectual conditions fall far behind those of the city center. With their attraction eroded, they failed to attract population.
In 1984, Tokyo planned to alter the uni-polar structure that urban functions tended to over concentrate on the center of Tokyo. The government set out to establish an integrated Tokyo Metropolis Circle consisting of downtown Tokyo and several independent city circles. Later, it set up a series of new and independent satellite towns equipped with sound functions.
It is worth noting that the rail transportation network in Tokyo and its surrounding areas was mainly invested privately. The Japanese government authorized franchise to private-run railway companies to develop land near railway lines. Various railway companies developed one by one the properties along railways to internalize the external benefit of their railway transportation. Satellite towns in Tokyo develop in pace with private-run railway development and subsequent real estate and other commercial development.