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― Designated cities

― Core cities

― Special cities

A special city (特例市, Tokureishi) of Japan is a city with a population of at least 200,000, and is delegated functions[specify] normally carried out by prefectural governments. Those functions are a subset of the ones delegated to a core city.

This category was established by the Local Autonomy Law, article 252 clause 26. They are designated by the Cabinet after a request by the city council and the prefectural assembly.

Because the level of autonomy delegated to special cities are similar to core cities, after consultation with local governments, the category of special cities was abolished in the revision of the Local Autonomy Act enacted on April 1, 2015, and cities with a population of at least 200,000 may apply to be directly promoted to core city status. Special cities which have not been promoted may still retain its autonomy, and are called special cities at enforcement (施行時特例市, Shikōji Tokurei shi). As a special case, within 5 years of the abolishment of the category of special cities, i.e. before April 1, 2020, special cities with a population under 200,000 may also apply to be promoted to core city status.[1]

The special cities are not the same as the special wards of Tokyo. They are also different from special cities (特別市, tokubetsu-shi) that were legally established in the Local Autonomy Law between 1947 and 1956, but never implemented. They would have been prefecture-independent cities (in an analogous way, special wards are city-independent wards). They were the legal successors to the 1922 "six major cities" (roku daitoshi; only five were left in 1947 as Tokyo City had been abolished in the war) and precursors to the 1956 designated major cities which have expanded autonomy, but not full independence from prefectures.[2]

List of special citiesEdit

As of 1 April 2019, 27 cities have been designated special cities:

Name Japanese Population (2012) Date of designation Region Prefecture
Atsugi 厚木市 224,181 2002-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa
Hiratsuka 平塚市 260,061 2001-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa
Ibaraki 茨木市 276,474 2001-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Isesaki 伊勢崎市 207,253 2007-04-01 Kantō Gunma
Jōetsu 上越市 202,366 2007-04-01 Chūbu Niigata
Kakogawa 加古川市 268,175 2002-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo
Kasugai 春日井市 306,573 2002-04-01 Chūbu Aichi
Kasukabe 春日部市 236,976 2008-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Kumagaya 熊谷市 201,814 2009-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Nagaoka 長岡市 281,101 2007-04-01 Chūbu Niigata
Numazu 沼津市 199,883 2000-04-01 Chūbu Shizuoka
Ōta 太田市 217,107 2007-04-01 Kantō Gunma
Saga 佐賀市 237,501 2014-04-01 Kyushu Saga
Sōka 草加市 244,851 2004-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Takarazuka 宝塚市 227,617 2003-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo
Yamato 大和市 230,357 2000-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 日本總務省 - 中核市・施行時特例市. soumo.go.jp.
  2. ^ Satoru Ohsugi (2011): The Large City System of Japan Council of Local Authorities for International Relations and Institute for Comparative Studies in Local Governance, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. – Note: this paper translates tokurei-shi as "special case city" and uses "special city" for tokubetsu-shi

External linksEdit