Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō, English: , Japanese: [toːkʲoː] (listen); lit. "Eastern Capital"), officially Tokyo Metropolis (東京都 Tōkyō-to), one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. , the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture (東京府 Tōkyō-fu) and the city of Tokyo (東京市 Tōkyō-shi). Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.
The 23 Special Wards of Tokyo were formerly Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, it merged with Tokyo Prefecture and became Tokyo Metropolis with an additional 26 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture, and the Izu islands and Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo. As of October 1, 2015, the population of Tokyo is estimated to be over 13.4 million, or about 11% of Japan's total population. The latest estimate in 2019 shows the growing population of Tokyo with 13.9 million people, with the special wards 9.6 million, the Tama area 4.2 million, and the Islands 25,147. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area called the Greater Tokyo Area with over 38 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy. , Tokyo hosted 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world at that time. Tokyo ranked third (twice) in the International Financial Centres Development Index. The city is home to various television networks such as Fuji TV, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, Nippon Television, NHK and the Tokyo Broadcasting System.
is a Shinto shrine
located in Chiyoda
. It is dedicated to the kami
(spirits) of soldiers
and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan
. Currently, its Symbolic Registry of Divinities
lists the names of over 2,466,000 enshrined men and women whose lives were dedicated to the service of Imperial Japan
, particularly to those killed in wartime. The shrine is a source of considerable controversy. Of the almost 2.5 million enshrined, 1,068 have been convicted of war crimes
by a post World War II
court, including 14 Class-A war criminals
("crime against peace
"). The Yūshūkan
—a shrine-owned history museum—has been accused of revisionism
in its accounts of Japan's actions in World War II
, as well as glorification of Japan's aggressive militaristic past. Visits to the shrine by Japanese Cabinet
members and Prime Ministers
, in particular, have been the cause of protests at home as well as abroad. People's Republic of China
, North Korea
, South Korea
and Republic of China
(Taiwan) have protested against various visits since 1985.
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Administrative divisions of Tokyo