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A prefecture (from the Latin Praefectura) is an administrative jurisdiction traditionally governed by an appointed prefect. This can be a regional or local government subdivision in various countries, or a subdivision in certain international church structures, as well as in antiquity a Roman district
Prefecture originally refers to a self-governing body or area since the tetrarchy, when Emperor Diocletian divided the Roman Empire into four districts (each divided into dioceses), grouped under a Vicarius (a number of Roman provinces, listed under that article), although he maintained two pretorian prefectures as an administrative level above the also surviving dioceses (a few of which were split).
As canon law is strongly inspired by Roman law, it is not surprising that the Catholic Church has several offices under a prefect. That term occurs also in otherwise styled offices, such as the head of a congregation or department of the Roman Curia. Various ecclesiastical areas, too small for a diocese, are termed prefects.
In Brazil, the prefecture (prefeitura or prefeitura municipal in Portuguese) is the executive branch of the government of each Brazilian municipality (município in Portuguese). The term also refers to the office of the mayor (prefeito in Portuguese).
The Central African Republic is divided into sixteen prefectures.
From 1836 until 2011, modern Greece was divided into nomoi (Greek : νομοί, singular νομός, nomos) which formed the country's main administrative units. These are most commonly translated into English as "prefectures" or "counties".
Each nomos was headed by a prefect (νομάρχης, nomarches ), who was a ministerial appointee until ca. 1990, but was then elected by direct popular vote in a process of decentralization that saw the prefectures become local government units. Municipal elections in Greece are held every four years and voting for the election of prefects and mayors was carried out concurrently but with separate ballots.
The 2010 Kallikratis plan, which took effect on 1 January 2011, abolished the prefectures as separate administrative units, and transformed them into regional units within the country's thirteen administrative regions.
When used in the context of Chinese history, especially China before the Tang Dynasty, the word "prefecture" is used to translate xian (县/縣). This unit of administration is translated as "county" when used in a contemporary context, because of the increase of the number of "xian" and the decrease of their sizes over time in the Chinese history.
In the context of Chinese history during or after the Tang Dynasty, the word "prefecture" is used to translate zhou (Wade–Giles chou (州), another ancient unit of administration in China, equivalent to the modern province.
In modern-day China, the prefecture (地区; pinyin: dìqū) is an administrative division found in the second level of the administrative hierarchy. In addition to prefectures, this level also includes autonomous prefectures, leagues, and prefecture-level cities. The prefecture level comes under the province level, and in turn oversees the county level.
In Italy a prefettura is the office of prefetto; like in France he is the representative of the Government in each provincia.
In France, a préfecture is the capital city of a département . As there are 101 départements in France, there are 101 préfectures. A préfecture de région is the capital city of a région . This is the city where the préfet - the appointed government representative - resides.
In English, "prefecture" is used as the translation for todōfuken ( 都道府県 ), which are the main subdivisions of Japan. They consist of 43 prefectures (県 ken) proper, two urban prefectures (府 fu, Osaka and Kyoto), one "circuit" or "territory" (道 dō, Hokkaido) and one "metropolis" (都 to, Tokyo). Before the end of World War II, the word was also used for overseas areas 庁 (chō)、州 (shu) and 道 (dō, in Korea).
Until 1894 Hyeon (현; 縣) was the lowest level administrative division in Korea and can be translated into "Petty Prefecture" in the modern sense. It was below Gun (군, 郡; "county") in the administrative hierarchy.
Dohobu (도호부; 都護府) was a higher level administrative division and can be translated into "Protectorate General", "Greater Prefecture", "Metropolitan Prefecture", or "Martial Prefecture" in the modern sense. The capital, Hanyang (Seoul), can sometimes be translated as "Hanseong Prefecture".
In 1895, Hyeon and Dohobu divisions were abolished. From 1910 to 1949, the term "prefecture" was used to translate Bu (부; 府). Since 1949 neither Hyeon nor Bu have been used, and there has been no division in either the South Korean or North Korean administrative system which translates as "prefecture".
Mongolian prefectures (Aimags) were adopted during Qing Dynasty's rule. Today these are usually translated as "provinces".
In Morocco, the 75 second-level administrative subdivisions are 13 prefectures and 62 provinces. They are subdivisions of the 12 regions of Morocco. Each prefecture and province are subdivided in their turn into districts (cercles, sing. cercle), municipalities (communes, sing. commune) or urban municipalities (communes urbaines, sing. commune urbaine), and arrondissements in some metropolitan areas.
Traditionally the prefecture as being the City Hall and the prefect as being the equivalent of a mayor and commissioner until recently; now the prefectures and prefect are analogous with the figure of Town Clerk.
A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French conté or cunté denoting a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count (earl) or a viscount. Literal equivalents in other languages, derived from the equivalent of "count", are now seldom used officially, including comté, contea, contado, comtat, condado, Grafschaft, graafschap, and zhupa in Slavic languages; terms equivalent to English language administrative terms such as municipality, district, circuit and commune/community are now often instead used.
Japan is divided into 47 prefectures, forming the country's first level of jurisdiction and administrative division. They include 43 prefectures proper, two urban prefectures, one "circuit" or "territory" and one "metropolis". In 1868, the Meiji Fuhanken sanchisei administration created the first prefectures to replace the urban and rural administrators in the parts of the country previously controlled directly by the shogunate and a few territories of rebels/shogunate loyalists who had not submitted to the new government such as Aizu/Wakamatsu. In 1871, all remaining feudal domains (han) were also transformed into prefectures, so that prefectures subdivided the whole country. In several waves of territorial consolidation, today's 47 prefectures were formed by the turn of the century. In many instances, these are contiguous with the ancient ritsuryō provinces of Japan.
A subprefecture is an administrative division of a country that is below prefecture or province.
A circuit was a historical political division of China and is a historical and modern administrative unit in Japan. The primary level of administrative division of Korea under the Joseon and in modern North and South Korea employs the same Chinese character as the Chinese and Japanese divisions but, because of its relatively greater importance, is usually translated as province instead.
Prefectures, formally a kind of prefecture-level divisions as a term in the context of China, are used to refer to several unrelated political divisions in both ancient and modern China. There are 333 prefecture-level divisions in China. They include 7 prefectures, 293 prefecture-level cities, 30 autonomous prefectures and 3 leagues. Other than provincial level divisions, prefectural level divisions are not mentioned in the Chinese constitution.
The term district, in the context of China, is used to refer to several unrelated political divisions in both ancient and modern China.
The history of the administrative divisions of the Imperial China is quite complex. Across history, what is called 'China' has taken many shapes, and many political organizations. For various reasons, both the borders and names of political divisions have changed—sometimes to follow topography, sometimes to weaken former states by dividing them, and sometimes to realize a philosophical or historical ideal. For recent times, the number of recorded tiny changes is quite large; by contrast, the lack of clear, trustworthy data for ancient times forces historians and geographers to draw approximate borders for respective divisions. But thanks to imperial records and geographic descriptions, political divisions may often be redrawn with some precision. Natural changes, such as changes in a river's course, or loss of data, still make this issue difficult for ancient times.
Zhou were historical administrative and political divisions of China. Formally established during the Han dynasty, zhou exist continuouslyin 1912—a period of over 2000 years. Zhou were also previously used in Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.
The Protectorate-General to Pacify the East was a protectorate established by the Tang dynasty in the northeast after defeating the kingdom of Goguryeo. In the place of Baekje and Goguryeo, the Tang created the Protectorate General to Pacify the East, Ungjin Commandery and Gyerim Territory Area Command.
The bureaucratic administration of Japan is divided into three basic levels; national, prefectural, and municipal. Below the national government there are 47 prefectures, six of which are further subdivided into subprefectures to better service large geographical areas or remote islands. The municipalities are the lowest level of government; the twenty most-populated cities outside Tokyo Metropolis are known as designated cities and are subdivided into wards.
Suizhou, formerly Sui County, is a prefecture-level city in northern Hubei province, People's Republic of China, bordering Henan province to the north and east.
The Jimi system or Jimifuzhou was an autonomous administrative and political organization system used in China between the 7th century and 10th century. It should not to be confused with the tributary system. The term "Jimi" was first seen in the annotation of Shiji quoted by Sima Zhen from a book of Eastern Han era, which implied to a man directing a horse or ox by the use of rein. Jimi administrative divisions were used primarily during the Tang dynasty from the 650s until the 740s. It was subsequently used in the Song, Mongol Yuan, Ming dynasties under other names such as the Tusi system until around 1726, when a new civil order under the Qing government was established.
Lianzhou, formerly Lian County or Lianxian, is a county-level city in northern Guangdong Province, China, and is the northernmost county-level division of the prefecture-level city of Qingyuan. It is known as the host city of the Lianzhou International Photography Festival (LIPF) and as a historic and cultural landmark of Guangdong Province.
Ningyuan County is a county of Hunan Province, China, it is under the administration of Yongzhou prefecture-level City.
Jingzhou or Jing Province was one of the Nine Provinces of ancient China referenced in Chinese historical texts such as the Tribute of Yu, Erya and Rites of Zhou.
Yanzhou Prefecture was an administrative unit (prefecture) in Zhejiang Province of China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was abolished in 1912, soon after the fall of the Qing. The territory of the former Yanzhou Prefecture is now part of the Hangzhou Prefecture-level city.
Districts, also known as rural districts, are one of several types of second-tier administrative subdivisions of Vietnam, the other types being urban districts (quận), provincial cities, municipal city, and district-level towns. The districts are subdivisions of the first-tier divisions, namely the provinces and municipalities. Districts are subdivided into third-tier units, namely townships and communes.
Fu is a traditional administrative division of Chinese origin used in the East Asian cultural sphere, translated variously as commandery, prefecture, urban prefecture, or city. They were first instituted as a regular form of administrative division of China's Tang Empire, but were later adopted in Vietnam, Japan and Korea. At present, only two fu still remain: the prefectures of Kyoto and Osaka in Japan.
Shuntian Prefecture was an administrative region of China during the Ming and Qing dynasties, equivalent to Beijing Municipality in today's People's Republic of China. However, the area of the prefecture jurisdiction was different. The term Shuntian fu also referred to the yamen (office) of the prefecture's local government.
The Tang dynasty administered territory using a hierarchical system of three descending divisions: circuit dào (道), prefecture zhōu (州), and county xiàn (縣). Prefectures have been called jùn 郡 as well as zhōu 州 interchangeably throughout history, leading to cases of confusion, but in reality their political status was the same. The prefectures were furthered classified as either Upper Prefectures, Middle Prefectures, or Lower Prefectures depending on population. An Upper Prefecture consisted of 40, 000 households and above, a Middle Prefecture 20, 000 households and above, and a Lower Prefecture anything below 20, 000 households. Some prefectures were further categorized as bulwark prefectures, grand prefectures, renowned prefectures, or key prefectures for strategic purposes. A superior prefecture was called a fu (府).