Osaka Panel Approves Metropolis Plan for 2nd Referendum

Politics

Osaka, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--A statutory panel set up by Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka, the prefecture's capital, approved on Thursday a so-called Osaka metropolis plan to reorganize the city into four special wards directly under the prefecture in 2025.

The western Japan city is expected to hold a second referendum on the Osaka metropolis initiative in early November 2020 if things go smoothly. In May 2015, voters in the city rejected the structural reform by a slim margin.

On Thursday, the panel adopted the reform framework by a majority vote, with the support of panel members from Osaka Ishin no Kai, a regional party, and Komeito, the coalition partner of ruling the Liberal Democratic Party in national politics.

"We managed to come this far," Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui, who leads the regional party, told reporters after the panel meeting. "We're telling the people that we'll create a better Osaka."

"We'll work to have our party's supporters vote for the metropolis plan in the referendum," said Shigeki Sato, head of Komeito's Osaka chapter.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press