Prefectures of Japan

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{city, large, area}
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Districts
(郡 gun)

Core cities
(中核市 chūkaku-shi)

Special cities
(特例市 tokurei-shi)

Cities
(市 shi)

Special wards (Tokyo)
(特別区 tokubetsu-ku)

Towns
(町 chō, machi)

Villages
(村 son, mura)

The prefectures of Japan are the country's 47 subnational jurisdictions: one "metropolis" (都 to), Tokyo; one "circuit" (道 ), Hokkaidō; two urban prefectures (府 fu), Osaka and Kyoto; and 43 other prefectures (県 ken). In Japanese, they are commonly referred to as todōfuken (都道府県?). Prefectures are governmental bodies larger than cities, towns, and villages.

The chief executive of each prefecture is a directly elected governor (知事 chiji?). Ordinances and budgets are enacted by a single-chamber assembly (議会 gikai?) whose elected members serve four-year terms.

Under the current Local Autonomy Law, each prefecture is further subdivided into cities (市 shi) and districts (郡 gun). Each district is further subdivided into towns (町 chō or machi) and villages (村 son or mura). For example, Hokkaidō has 14 subprefectures which act as branch offices (支庁 shichō) of the prefecture. Some other prefectures also have branch offices, which carry out prefectural administrative functions outside the capital.

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