Cities designated by government ordinance of Reia
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 Reian city that has a population greater than 500,000 and has been designated as such by order of the Cabinet of Reia 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 (区, ku) (broadly equivalent to Boroughs, 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 Tanjō are not part of this system, as Tanjō is a prefecture, and its wards are effectively independent cities. Although the two largest wards of Tanjō, 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 such.
No cities designated by government ordinance have ever lost that status.
List of designated cities
Cities designated by government ordinance have been established since 1956.
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