Debate on Big City Administrative Reforms Feared to Stall

Politics

Osaka/Tokyo, Nov. 2 (Jiji Press)--With the so-called Osaka metropolis plan having been rejected in Sunday’s referendum, the issue of overlapping regional administration remains unsolved and the nationwide debate on reforms of central government ordinance-designated major cities is widely feared to become stalled.

“At a time when Japan is beginning the road to economic recovery, it would be important to have various discussions to revitalize regional economies,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Monday. The referendum result “apparently created a stir in the debate over the course of the country’s major city system.”

The reality, however, is that calls for reforms of ordinance-designated major cities’ administration are not growing across the country.

In Sunday’s referendum, residents of the western Japan city of Osaka, the capital of Osaka Prefecture and one of ordinance-designated cities, turned down by a narrow margin the plan to scrap the city and reorganize it into four “special wards” with the aim of eliminating overlapping administration between prefectural and ordinance-designated city governments.

The current system of such major cities was launched in 1956, when the local autonomy law was revised, with Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe first becoming ordinance-designated cities. The number of such cities currently stands at 20.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press