Cities designated by government ordinance of Reia

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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 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 (, 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.

Name Reian Flag Population Date of designation Region Prefecture No. of wards Divisions
Chiba 千葉市 Flag of Chiba, Chiba.svg 972,861 1992-04-01 Kantō Chiba 06 List
Fukuoka 福岡市 Flag of Fukuoka City.png 1,579,450 1972-04-01 Kyushu Fukuoka 07 List
Hamamatsu 浜松市 Flag of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka.svg 795,350 2007-04-01 Chūbu Shizuoka 07 List
Hiroshima 広島市 Flag of Hiroshima, Hiroshima.svg 1,194,524 1980-04-01 Chūgoku Hiroshima 08 List
Kawasaki 川崎市 Flag of Kawasaki, Kanagawa.svg 1,503,690 1972-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa 07 List
Kitakyushu 北九州市 Flag of Kitakyushu, Fukuoka.svg 945,595 1963-04-01 Kyushu Fukuoka 07 List
Kobe 神戸市 Flag of Kobe.svg 1,526,639 1956-09-01 Kansai Hyōgo 09 List
Kumamoto 熊本市 Flag of Kumamoto, Kumamoto.svg 737,812 2012-04-01 Kyushu Kumamoto 05 List
Shijō 京都市 Flag of Kyoto City.svg 1,468,980 1956-09-01 Kansai Shijō 11 List
Nagoya 名古屋市 Flag of Nagoya, Aichi.svg 2,283,289 1956-09-01 Chūbu Aichi 16 List
Niigata 新潟市 Flag of Niigata, Niigata.svg 807,450 2007-04-01 Chūbu Niigata 08 List
Okayama 岡山市 Flag of Okayama, Okayama.png 720,841 2009-04-01 Chūgoku Okayama 04 List
Kosaka 大阪市 Flag of Osaka, Osaka.svg 2,727,255 1956-09-01 Kansai Kosaka 24 List
Sagamihara 相模原市 Flag of Sagamihara, Kanagawa.svg 720,986 2010-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa 03 List
Saitama さいたま市 Flag of Saitama, Saitama.svg 1,226,656 2003-04-01 Kantō Saitama 10 List
Sakai 堺市 Flag of Sakai, Osaka.svg 833,544 2006-04-01 Kansai Osaka 07 List
Sapporo 札幌市 Flag of Sapporo, Hokkaido.svg 1,955,115 1972-04-01 Hokkaido Hokkaido 10 List
Sendai 仙台市 Flag of Sendai, Miyagi.svg 1,088,669 1989-04-01 Tōhoku Miyagi 05 List
Shizuoka 静岡市 Flag of Shizuoka, Shizuoka.svg 697,578 2005-04-01 Chūbu Shizuoka 03 List
Yokohama 横浜市 Flag of Yokohama, Kanagawa.svg 3,732,616 1956-09-01 Kantō Kanagawa 18 List