Core cities of Japan

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      ― Designated cities
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A core city (中核市, Chūkakushi) is a class or category of Japanese cities. It is a local administrative division created by the national government. [1] Core cities are delegated many functions normally carried out by prefectural governments, but not as many as designated cities. To become a candidate for core city status, a city must have a population greater than 300,000 and an area greater than 100 square kilometers, although special exceptions may be made by order of the cabinet for cities with populations under 300,000 but over 200,000. [2] After the abolition of special city status on April 1, 2015, any city with a population above 200,000 may apply for core city status. [3]


Application for designation is made by a city with the approval of both the city and prefectural assemblies.


The term "core city" was created by the first clause of Article 252, Section 22 of the Local Autonomy Law of Japan. [4]

List of core cities

As of 1 April 2021, 62 cities have been designated core cities: [3]

NameJapaneseFlagPopulation (2012)Date of designationRegionPrefecture
Akashi 明石市 Flag of Akashi, Hyogo.svg 290,9272018-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo
Akita 秋田市 Flag of Akita, Akita.svg 322,2241997-04-01 Tōhoku Akita
Amagasaki 尼崎市 Flag of Amagasaki, Hyogo.svg 451,3532009-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo
Aomori 青森市 Flag of Aomori, Aomori.svg 297,3482006-10-01 Tōhoku Aomori
Asahikawa 旭川市 Flag of Asahikawa, Hokkaido.svg 351,7652000-04-01 Hokkaidō
Fukui 福井市 Flag of Fukui, Fukui.svg 266,6122019-04-01 Chūbu Fukui
Fukushima 福島市 Flag of Fukushima, Fukushima.svg 289,3552018-04-01 Tōhoku Fukushima
Fukuyama 福山市 Flag of Fukuyama, Hiroshima.svg 462,1441998-04-01 Chūgoku Hiroshima
Funabashi 船橋市 Flag of Funabashi, Chiba.svg 610,4922003-04-01 Kantō Chiba
Gifu 岐阜市 Flag of Gifu, Gifu.svg 412,7181996-04-01 Chūbu Gifu
Hachinohe 八戸市 Flag of Hachinohe, Aomori.svg 241,6132017-01-01 Tōhoku Aomori
Hachiōji 八王子市 Flag of Hachioji, Tokyo.svg 579,7992015-04-01 Kantō Tokyo
Hakodate 函館市 Flag of Hakodate, Hokkaido.svg 279,0562005-10-01 Hokkaidō
Higashiōsaka 東大阪市 Flag of Higashiosaka, Osaka.svg 508,2672005-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Himeji 姫路市 Flag of Himeji, Hyogo.svg 536,2181996-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo
Hirakata 枚方市 Flag of Hirakata, Osaka.svg 407,9972014-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Ichinomiya 一宮市 Flag of Ichinomiya, Aichi.svg 379,6542021-04-01 Chūbu Aichi
Iwaki いわき市 Flag of Iwaki, Fukushima.svg 332,9941999-04-01 Tōhoku Fukushima
Kagoshima 鹿児島市 Flag of Kagoshima, Kagoshima.svg 607,2571996-04-01 Kyushu Kagoshima
Kashiwa 柏市 Flag of Kashiwa, Chiba.svg 404,8632008-04-01 Kantō Chiba
Kanazawa 金沢市 Flag of Kanazawa, Ishikawa.svg 462,7961996-04-01 Chūbu Ishikawa
Kawagoe 川越市 Flag of Kawagoe, Saitama.svg 345,3612003-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Kawaguchi 川口市 Flag of Kawaguchi, Saitama.svg 561,7882018-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Kōchi 高知市 Flag of Kochi, Kochi.svg 342,5681998-04-01 Shikoku Kōchi
Kōfu 甲府市 Flag of Kofu, Yamanashi.svg 197,3182019-04-01 Chūbu Yamanashi
Kōriyama 郡山市 Flag of Koriyama, Fukushima.svg 331,1401997-04-01 Tōhoku Fukushima
Koshigaya 越谷市 Flag of Koshigaya, Saitama.svg 328,0792015-04-01 Kantō Saitama
Kurashiki 倉敷市 Flag of Kurashiki, Okayama.svg 477,0862002-04-01 Chūgoku Okayama
Kure 呉市 Flag of Kure, Hiroshima.svg 236,5952016-04-01 Chūgoku Hiroshima
Kurume 久留米市 Flag of Kurume, Fukuoka.svg 301,8212008-04-01 Kyushu Fukuoka
Maebashi 前橋市 Flag of Maebashi, Gunma.svg 338,4812009-04-01 Kantō Gunma
Matsue 松江市 Flag of Matsue, Shimane.svg 208,1602018-04-01 Chūgoku Shimane
Matsumoto 松本市 Flag of Matsumoto, Nagano.svg 239,4662021-04-01 Chūbu Nagano
Matsuyama 松山市 Flag of Matsuyama, Ehime.svg 516,8232000-04-01 Shikoku Ehime
Mito 水戸市 Flag of Mito, Ibaraki.svg 269,1622020-04-01 Kantō Ibaraki
Miyazaki 宮崎市 Flag of Miyazaki, Miyazaki.svg 402,2891998-04-01 Kyushu Miyazaki
Morioka 盛岡市 Flag of Morioka, Iwate.svg 299,7342008-04-01 Tōhoku Iwate
Naha 那覇市 Flag of Naha, Okinawa.svg 321,6952013-04-01 Kyushu Okinawa
Nagano 長野市 Flag of Nagano, Nagano.svg 380,5811999-04-01 Chūbu Nagano
Nagasaki 長崎市 Flag of Nagasaki, Nagasaki.svg 440,9111997-04-01 Kyushu Nagasaki
Nara 奈良市 Flag of Nara, Nara.svg 365,4212002-04-01 Kansai Nara
Neyagawa 寝屋川市 Flag of Neyagawa, Osaka.svg 238,8192019-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Nishinomiya 西宮市 Flag of Nishinomiya, Hyogo.svg 483,8782008-04-01 Kansai Hyōgo
Ōita 大分市 Flag of Oita, Oita.svg 476,0081997-04-01 Kyushu Ōita
Okazaki 岡崎市 Flag of Okazaki, Aichi.svg 374,0852003-04-01 Chūbu Aichi
Ōtsu 大津市 Flag of Otsu, Shiga.svg 339,4692009-04-01 Kansai Shiga
Sasebo 佐世保市 Flag of Sasebo, Nagasaki.svg 259,6762016-04-01 Kyushu Nagasaki
Shimonoseki 下関市 Flag of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.svg 277,9372005-10-01 Chūgoku Yamaguchi
Suita 吹田市 Flag of Suita, Osaka.svg 357,9172020-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Takamatsu 高松市 Flag of Takamatsu, Kagawa.svg 420,3561999-04-01 Shikoku Kagawa
Takasaki 高崎市 Flag of Takasaki, Gunma.svg 371,8202011-04-01 Kantō Gunma
Takatsuki 高槻市 Flag of Takatsuki, Osaka.svg 355,8402003-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Tottori 鳥取市 Flag of Tottori, Tottori.svg 196,5382018-04-01 Chūgoku Tottori
Toyama 富山市 Flag of Toyama, Toyama.png 421,3932005-04-01 Chūbu Toyama
Toyohashi 豊橋市 Flag of Toyohashi, Aichi.svg 375,8041999-04-01 Chūbu Aichi
Toyonaka 豊中市 Flag of Toyonaka, Osaka.svg 390,4572012-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Toyota 豊田市 Flag of Toyota, Aichi.svg 420,6801998-04-01 Chūbu Aichi
Utsunomiya 宇都宮市 Flag of Utsunomiya, Tochigi.svg 513,7221996-04-01 Kantō Tochigi
Wakayama 和歌山市 Flag of Wakayama, Wakayama.svg 368,6841997-04-01 Kansai Wakayama
Yamagata 山形市 Flag of Yamagata, Yamagata.svg 254,5192019-04-01 Tōhoku Yamagata
Yao 八尾市 Flag of Yao, Osaka.svg 270,7352018-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Yokosuka 横須賀市 Flag of Yokosuka, Kanagawa.svg 415,2592001-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa

Former core cities

NameJapaneseFlagDate of designationDate of reclassificationRegionPrefecture
Hamamatsu 浜松市 Flag of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka.svg 1996-04-012007-04-01 (Designated city) Chūbu Shizuoka
Kumamoto 熊本市 Flag of Kumamoto, Kumamoto.svg 1996-04-012012-04-01 (Designated city) Kyushu Kumamoto
Niigata 新潟市 Flag of Niigata, Niigata.svg 1996-04-012007-04-01 (Designated city) Chūbu Niigata
Okayama 岡山市 Flag of Okayama, Okayama.svg 1996-04-012009-04-01 (Designated city) Chūgoku Okayama
Sagamihara 相模原市 Flag of Sagamihara, Kanagawa.svg 2003-04-012010-04-01 (Designated city) Kantō Kanagawa
Sakai 堺市 Flag of Sakai, Osaka.svg 1996-04-012006-04-01 (Designated city) Kansai Osaka
Shizuoka 静岡市 Flag of Shizuoka, Shizuoka.svg 1996-04-012005-04-01 (Designated city) Chūbu Shizuoka

Scheduled to become a core city

NameJapaneseFlagPopulation (2012)Scheduled dateRegionPrefecture
Chigasaki 茅ヶ崎市 Flag of Chigasaki, Kanagawa.svg 236,2222020-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa
Fuji 富士市 Flag of Fuji, Shizuoka.svg 253,455TBD Chūbu Shizuoka
Kishiwada 岸和田市 Flag of Kishiwada, Osaka.svg 198,6152020-04-01 Kansai Osaka
Odawara 小田原市 Flag of Odawara, Kanagawa.svg 197,4132020-04-01 Kantō Kanagawa
Tsukuba つくば市 Flag of Tsukuba, Ibaraki.svg 216,221TBD Kantō Ibaraki
Tokorozawa 所沢市 Flag of Tokorozawa, Saitama.svg 342,321TBD Kantō Saitama
Yokkaichi 四日市市 Flag of Yokkaichi, Mie.svg 307,5992020 (aiming) Kansai Mie

Cities that meet the requirements but have not yet been nominated

The following cities have populations greater than 200,000 but have not yet been nominated. (Cities planning to apply for core city status are not shown.)

Matsudo 松戸市 Flag of Matsudo, Chiba.svg 498,575 Kantō Chiba
Ichikawa 市川市 Flag of Ichikawa, Chiba.svg 491,804 Kantō Chiba
Machida 町田市 Flag of Machida, Tokyo.svg 429,040 Kantō Tokyo
Fujisawa 藤沢市 Flag of Fujisawa, Kanagawa.svg 420,254 Kantō Kanagawa
Ageo 上尾市 Flag of Ageo, Saitama.svg 229,517 Kantō Saitama
Ichihara 市原市 Flag of Ichihara, Chiba.svg 274,117 Kantō Chiba
Chōfu 調布市 Flag of Chofu, Tokyo.svg 240,668 Kantō Tokyo
Fuchū 府中市 Flag of Fuchu, Tokyo.svg 260,891 Kantō Tokyo
Tsu 津市 Flag of Tsu, Mie.svg 279,304 Kansai Mie
Tokushima 徳島市 Flag of Tokushima, Tokushima.svg 258,554 Kansai Tokushima

See also

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  1., "Local self-government," p. 3; retrieved 2012-11-28.
  2. 日本財団図書館(電子図書館) Revised Local Autonomy Law.
  3. 1 2 日本總務省 - 中核市・施行時特例市. (in Japanese).
  4. 日本財団図書館(電子図書館) Revised Local Autonomy Law.