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A city designated by government ordinance (政令指定都市, seirei shitei toshi), also known as a designated city (指定都市, shitei toshi) or government ordinance city (政令市, seirei shi), is a Japanese city that has a population greater than 500,000 and has been designated as such by order of the Cabinet of Japan under Article 252, Section 19, of the Local Autonomy Law.

Designated cities are delegated many of the functions normally performed by prefectural governments in fields such as public education, social welfare, sanitation, business licensing, and urban planning. The city government is generally delegated the various minor administrative functions in each area, and the prefectural government retains authority over major decisions. For instance, pharmaceutical retailers and small clinics can be licensed by designated city governments, but pharmacies and hospitals are licensed by prefectural governments.

Designated cities are also required to subdivide themselves into wards (, ku) (broadly equivalent to the boroughs of London or the boroughs of New York City), each of which has a ward office conducting various administrative functions for the city government, such as koseki and juminhyo resident registration and tax collection. In some cities, ward offices are responsible for business licensing, construction permits, and other administrative matters. The structure and the authorities of the wards are determined by municipal ordinances.

The 23 special wards of Tokyo are not part of this system, as Tokyo is a prefecture, and its wards are effectively independent cities. Although the two largest wards of Tokyo, Setagaya and Nerima, are populous enough to become designated cities, they are not considered to be "cities" within the meaning of the Local Autonomy Law and so are not designated as such.

No city designated by government ordinance has ever lost that status.

List of designated cities

Cities designated by government ordinance of Japan is located in Japan
Sapporo
Sapporo
Sendai
Sendai
Niigata
Niigata
Shizuoka
Shizuoka
Hamamatsu
Hamamatsu
Nagoya
Nagoya
Okayama
7
Hiroshima
8
Kitakyushu
9
Fukuoka
Fukuoka
Kumamoto
Kumamoto
Designated cites in Japan (except for Kanto region and Kansai area)
7: Okayama, 8: Hiroshima, 9: Kitakyushu
Cities designated by government ordinance of Japan is located in Kanto Area
Saitama
Saitama
Chiba
Chiba
Kawasaki
Kawasaki
Yokohama
Yokohama
Sagamihara
Sagamihara
Designated cites in Kanto region area
Cities designated by government ordinance of Japan is located in Kansai region
Nagoya
Nagoya
Kyoto
Kyoto
Osaka
Osaka
Sakai
Sakai
Kobe
Kobe
Designated cites in Kansai area and Western Tōkai area

Cities designated by government ordinance have been established since 1956.[1]

Name Japanese Skyline Flag Emblem Area (km2) Population Population density Date of designation Region Prefecture No. of wards Lists of wards Map
Chiba 千葉市 271.77 972,861 3,613 1992-04-01 Kantō Chiba 06 List
Fukuoka 福岡市 343.39 1,579,450 4,668 1972-04-01 Kyushu Fukuoka 07 List
Hamamatsu 浜松市 1,558.06 795,350 506 2007-04-01 Chūbu Shizuoka 07 List
Hiroshima 広島市 906.68 1,194,524 1,321 1980-04-01 Chūgoku Hiroshima 08 List
Kawasaki 川崎市 143.01 1,503,690 10,765 1972-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa 07 List
Kitakyushu 北九州市 491.95 945,595 1,901 1963-04-01 Kyushu Fukuoka 07 List
Kobe 神戸市 557.02 1,526,639 2,719 1956-09-01 Kansai Hyōgo 09 List
Kumamoto 熊本市 390.32 737,812 1,892 2012-04-01 Kyushu Kumamoto 05 List
Kyoto 京都市 827.83 1,468,980 1,758 1956-09-01 Kansai Kyoto 11 List
Nagoya 名古屋市 326.45 2,283,289 7,128 1956-09-01 Chūbu Aichi 16 List
Niigata 新潟市 726.45 807,450 1,089 2007-04-01 Chūbu Niigata 08 List
Okayama 岡山市 789.95 720,841 912 2009-04-01 Chūgoku Okayama 04 List
Osaka 大阪市 225.21 2,727,255 12,226 1956-09-01 Kansai Osaka 24 List
Sagamihara 相模原市 328.91 720,986 2,198 2010-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa 03 List
Saitama さいたま市 217.43 1,226,656 6,072 2003-04-01 Kantō Saitama 10 List
Sakai 堺市 149.82 833,544 5,500 2006-04-01 Kansai Osaka 07 List
Sapporo 札幌市 1,121.26 1,955,115 1,750 1972-04-01 Hokkaido Hokkaido 10 List
Sendai 仙台市 786.30 1,088,669 1,389 1989-04-01 Tōhoku Miyagi 05 List
Shizuoka 静岡市 1,411.90 697,578 486 2005-04-01 Chūbu Shizuoka 03 List
Yokohama 横浜市 437.56 3,732,616 8,588 1956-09-01 Kantō Kanagawa 18 List

Designated city requirements

To become a candidate for designated city status, a city must have a population greater than 500,000. An application for designation is made by a city with the approval of both the city and the prefectural assemblies.

The following cities have populations greater than 500,000 but have not yet been nominated.

Name Japanese Flag Emblem Area (km2) Population (2012) Region Prefecture Map
Funabashi 船橋市 85.62 610,492 Kantō Chiba
Hachiōji 八王子市 186.38 579,799 Kantō Tokyo
Himeji 姫路市 534.43 536,218 Kansai Hyōgo
Kagoshima 鹿児島市 547.58 607,257 Kyushu Kagoshima
Kawaguchi 川口市 61.95 561,788 Kantō Saitama
Matsuyama 松山市 429.40 516,823 Shikoku Ehime
Utsunomiya 宇都宮市 416.85 513,722 Kantō Tochigi

History

The first form of the designated city system was enacted under Japan local government system in 1878 with the introduction of "wards." Under that system, wards existed in every city. Most cities had only one ward, but the largest cities at the time (Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto) were divided into 15, four, and two wards, respectively.

The municipal system enacted in 1889 replaced ward assemblies with city assemblies but retained ward assemblies in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, which had no assembly of their own but were governed by the prefectural assembly. In 1898, the three cities were allowed to form city assemblies. The ward system was adopted by three more cities prior to World War II: Nagoya (1908), Yokohama (1927), and Kobe (1931). Under a 1911 statute, wards were granted a corporate personality and so treated as local entities.

Following the war, the 1947 Local Autonomy Law grandfathered in the five subdivided cities (Tokyo having become a prefecture in 1943) as special cities (特別市, tokubetsu shi). The system was replaced by the designated city system when the Local Autonomy Law was amended, in 1956.

During the ensuing Japanese economic growth period, the government required designated cities to be forecast to reach a population of one million within the near future, but the requirement was dropped in 2005 to accommodate several geographically large cities that were formed by mergers, under the government of Junichiro Koizumi.

See also

References

  1. ^ Jacobs, A.J. "Japan's Evolving Nested Municipal Hierarchy: The Race for Local Power in the 2000s". Hindawi, Urban Studies Research, Vol. 2011 (2011), doi:10.1155/2011/692764. Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2012.