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Special cities of Japan

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Special cities of Japan

(Circle click-able)
― Designated cities
― Core cities
― Special cities
Administrative divisions
of Japan

A special city (特例市 Tokureishi) of Japan is a city with a population of at least 200,000, and is delegated a subset of the functions 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.

The special cities are not the same as the special wards of Tokyo.


  • List of special cities 1
  • Former special cities now core or designated cities 2
  • Cities that meet requirements but are not yet designated 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

List of special cities

Currently, 40 cities have been designated as Special Cities:

Name Japanese Population (2012) Date of designation Region Prefecture
Akashi 明石市 290,927 2002-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo
Atsugi 厚木市 224,181 2002-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa
Chigasaki 茅ヶ崎市 236,222 2003-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa
Fuji 富士市 253,455 2001-04-01 Chūbu Shizuoka
Fukui 福井市 266,612 2000-04-01 Chūbu Fukui
Hachinohe 八戸市 236,390 2001-04-01 Tōhoku Aomori
Hirakata 枚方市 407,270 2001-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Hiratsuka 平塚市 260,061 2001-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa
Ibaraki 茨木市 276,474 2001-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Ichinomiya 一宮市 378,996 2001-04-01 Chūbu Aichi
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
Kawaguchi 川口市 561,788 2001-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Kishiwada 岸和田市 198,615 2002-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Kōfu 甲府市 197,318 2000-04-01 Chūbu Yamanashi
Koshigaya 越谷市 328,079 2003-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Kumagaya 熊谷市 201,814 2009-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Kure 呉市 236,595 2000-04-01 Chūgoku Hiroshima
Matsue 松江市 208,160 2012-04-01 Chūgoku Shimane
Matsumoto 松本市 243,431 2000-04-01 Chūbu Nagano
Mito 水戸市 269,162 2001-04-01 Kantō Ibaraki
Nagaoka 長岡市 281,101 2007-04-01 Chūbu Niigata
Neyagawa 寝屋川市 238,819 2001-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Numazu 沼津市 199,883 2000-04-01 Chūbu Shizuoka
Odawara 小田原市 197,413 2000-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa
Ōta 太田市 217,107 2007-04-01 Kantō Gunma
Sasebo 佐世保市 259,676 2001-04-01 Kyushu Nagasaki
Sōka 草加市 244,851 2004-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Suita 吹田市 357,917 2001-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Takarazuka 宝塚市 227,617 2003-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo
Tokorozawa 所沢市 342,321 2002-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Tottori 鳥取市 196,538 2005-04-01 Chūgoku Tottori
Tsukuba つくば市 216,221 2007-04-01 Kantō Ibaraki
Yamagata 山形市 254,519 2001-04-01 Tōhoku Yamagata
Yamato 大和市 230,357 2000-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa
Yao 八尾市 270,735 2001-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Yokkaichi 四日市市 307,599 2000-04-01 Kansai Mie

Former special cities now core or designated cities

Name Japanese Date of designation Date of reclassification Region Prefecture
Hakodate 函館市 2000-11-01 2005-10-01 (Core city) Hokkaido Hokkaido
Shimizu 清水市 2001-04-01 2003-04-01 (merge into Shizuoka) Chūbu Shizuoka
Shimonoseki 下関市 2002-04-01 2005-02-12 (Core city) Chūgoku Yamaguchi
Morioka 盛岡市 2000-11-01 2008-04-01 (Core city) Tōhoku Iwate
Kurume 久留米市 2001-04-01 2008-04-01 (Core city) Kyushu Fukuoka
Maebashi 前橋市 2001-04-01 2009-04-01 (Core city) Kantō Gunma
Ōtsu 大津市 2001-04-01 2009-04-01 (Core city) Kansai Shiga
Amagasaki 尼崎市 2001-04-01 2009-04-01 (Core city) Kansai Hyōgo
Takasaki 高崎市 2001-04-01 2011-04-01 (Core city) Kantō Gunma
Toyonaka 豊中市 2001-04-01 2012-04-01 (Core city) Kansai Osaka

Cities that meet requirements but are not yet designated

The following cities have the population of more than 200,000 people but have not yet been designated (Scheduled to become a special city are not in this list)

See also


External links

  • "Japan's Evolving Nested Municipal Hierarchy: The Race for Local Power in the 2000s," by A.J. Jacobs at Urban Studies Research, Vol. 2011 (2011); doi:10.1155/2011/692764
  • "Large City System of Japan"; graphic shows special cities compared with other Japanese city types at p. 1 [PDF 7 of 40]
  • "Growth in Second Tier Cities - Urban Policy Lessons from Japan" briefing by CLAIR London on classes of Japanese cities (PDF)
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