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Locations In Japan


8 Oct 2002
I am unsure of how Regions,Cities,Prefecture in Japan work ?

For example;

"This Himeji Castle is situated in Himeji City of Hyogo
prefecture about 50 km west of Osaka"

_a) Is regions like United States version of states (Texas, Iowa...) ? Or is this like; South-East, North-East, North-West, South-West, Mid-West .

_b) What are prefecture ?

_c) Are prefecture like a county in United States

I live in Palm Bay city, in the state of FLORIDA.

Prefectures can be compared to U.S. federal states. Prefectures are administrated by local governments.

How are local governments organized in Japan?

=> POLITICS AND THE CONSTITUTION: How are local governments organized in Japan?

How are local governments organized in Japan?
The system of local administration is spelled out in the Constitution. There are 47 prefectural governments and equivalent organizations for 12 of Japan's most populous cities--called "government designated cities"--and beneath them are about 3,300 municipal authorities that carry out administrative work at the city, ward, town, or village level.
Each municipality has a single-chamber assembly. The assemblymen and women are elected directly by local residents aged 20 or higher for a four-year term. The local assemblies decide on the budget and set regulations for their particular municipality.

The head of the municipality is also elected by popular vote for a period of four years. The chief executive is responsible for the local administration, giving directions to the local-authority staff and carrying out administrative measures in accordance with the decisions of the assembly.

If all administrative work were to be carried out by the central government, there would no doubt be many cases where local characteristics would be overlooked. Thus a division of responsibility has been developed. The central government handles administrative measures that affect the entire country or more than one prefecture. The local authorities are responsible for administrative tasks that affect local residents directly, such as maintaining parks, administering elementary and middle schools, looking after people's health and hygiene, collecting and disposing of garbage, and keeping the family register. In cases where such tasks cover two or more municipalities, they are taken over by prefectural authorities.

In Japan's system of local government, local residents have a direct voice in the way things are run. For example, eligible voters can demand the dissolution of the assembly and dismissal of assembly members and municipality chiefs by obtaining a required number of signatures. The governor or mayor may be dismissed if the demands for his or her ouster are approved in a referendum by a majority of eligible voters in an administrative district.
Regions consist of several prefectures. There are the following regions in Japan (from north to south, actually north-east to south-west):

- Hokkaido (prefecture and region)

- Tohoku (Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata prefectures)

- Kanto (Chiba, Gunma, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Saitama, Tochigi, Tokyo)

- Chubu (Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi)

- Kinki (Hyogo, Kyoto, Mie, Nara, Osaka, Shiga, Wakayama)

- Chugoku (Hiroshima, Okayama, Shimane, Tottori, Yamaguchi)

- Shikoku (Ehime, Kagawa, Kochi, Tokushima)

- Kyushu (Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Saga)

- Okinawa (not sure if it counts as region)

Regions of Japan | Japan Forum
Location in Japan (Regions/Prefecture)

Do Regions just group similiar prefecture ?

Do Regions have their own political status ?

Or are prefecture the political boundary ?

For example;
Rhode Island and Massachussetts

You would cross into Massachussetts
and then back into Rhode Island going
between cities on the "left-side" of
Rhode Island

During snow storms, Massachussetts had
better clearing of roads. Everyone noticed this !

Massachussetts was a real boundary in terms of
service (including different laws)
Prefectures are political boundaries. I am sure there's some kind of cooperation between prefectures within the same region, but regions do not appear to be administrative units.
Tohoku? ...Your maps probably have greater detail. My maps list that area as: Honshu. One of the maps is on a Britannica DVD. ..Not very much detail.
Honshu is Japan's "main island" comprising Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kinki and Chugoku.

It's interesting that Kansai doesn't count as separate region.
Last question;
Do people in Japan refer to were they live in what order

a) Region, Prefecture

b) City, Prefecture

c) City, Region

Do they use which region their from
in normal conversation ?
I think they would name the prefecture they come from, but it depends of course on the context.
Konnichiwa Arnadstephen-san!

This is a feeling of identification of the Japanese.

Country > Region > Prefecture > City > Town > House or Family

If I go foreign travel, I never say "I came from Kansai" but not "I came from Japan". Because most of all people in other countries don't know "Kansai". But if I go other region, I will say "I came from Kansai". Because all people know "Kansai" in Japan.

Here's an excerpt from Peter Payne's latest J-List newsletter.

In the Japanese system of prefectures and cities is quite different from what we're used to in the States. The current Japanese system, which was based on the French prefectural system (or at least that's what the Japanese believe), came about when Japan modernized its infrastructures during the Meiji Restoration. Basically, there are 47 prefectures ("ken"), along with the northernmost island of Hokkaido and the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, which like the District of Columbia in the U.S. is separate from the normal system of prefectures. Inside each prefecture, there are three kinds of incorporated areas: cities ("shi"), towns ("machi" or "cho," two readings for the same kanji character) or villages ("mura"). Inside the large city areas, such as the city we live in, there are small "town" areas designated, so that a person may live in Sakura Town, Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. Streets are not generally named in Japan, so a physical address will just be a numbered block inside that part of the town. If you think it's terribly confusing to have a whole country with no named streets or numbered houses, you're right! Basically, if you don't have a clear map to wherever it is you're going in Japan, you're probably not going to get there. As populations rise and fall in Japan (usually fall, it's sad to say), sometimes a new city is born, as small municipalities join together to try to make their region more attractive for tourism and industry. Japan's newest city is Minami Alps City, in Nagano Prefecture. Located in the heart of the Japan Alps (the main mountain range running down the middle of the country), this city is newsworthy as the first place name to write its name in the katakana writing system (since the word "alps" is a foreign loan word).

I was also inclined to compare Japanese prefectures to French departements, but actually prefectures enjoy more administrative and legislative liberties than departements.
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