Core city

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Administrative divisions of Japan
Prefectural level
(都道府県 todōfuken)
Subprefectural level
(支庁 shichō)

(郡 gun)

Municipal level
Designated cities
(政令指定都市 seirei-shitei-toshi)

Core cities
(中核市 chūkaku-shi)

Special cities
(特例市 tokurei-shi)

(市 shi)

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

(町 chō, machi)

(村 son, mura)

Sub-municipal level
(区 ku)

A core city (中核市 Chūkakushi?) is a class of Japanese city created by the first clause of Article 252, Section 22 of the Local Autonomy Law of Japan. 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 satisfy the following condition:

  • A population greater than 300,000.

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

As of 2009, 41 cities have been designated core cities:

Region Prefecture Core city flag Core City Designated Date Notes
Hokkaidō Hokkaidō 30px Asahikawa April 1, 2000
30px Hakodate October 1, 2005
Tōhoku Aomori Prefecture 30px Aomori October 1, 2006
Iwate Prefecture 30px Morioka April 1, 2008
Akita Prefecture 30px Akita April 1, 1997
Fukushima Prefecture 30px Kōriyama
Iwaki April 1, 1999
Kantō Tochigi Prefecture 30px Utsunomiya April 1, 1996
Gunma Prefecture 30px Maebashi April 1, 2009 Was a special city until March 31, 2009
Saitama Prefecture 30px Kawagoe April 1, 2003
Chiba Prefecture 30px Funabashi
30px Kashiwa April 1, 2008
Kanagawa Prefecture 30px Yokosuka April 1, 2001
30px Sagamihara April 1, 2003 The most populous Core City.[1]
Chūbu Toyama Prefecture 30px Toyama (April 1, 1996) Reclassified on April 1, 2005 due to the newly creation
Ishikawa Prefecture 30px Kanazawa April 1, 1996
Nagano Prefecture 30px Nagano April 1, 1999
Gifu Prefecture 30px Gifu April 1, 1996
Aichi Prefecture 30px Toyota April 1, 1998
30px Toyohashi April 1, 1999
30px Okazaki April 1, 2003
Kansai Shiga Prefecture 30px Ōtsu April 1, 2009 Was a special city until March 31, 2009
Osaka Prefecture 30px Takatsuki April 1, 2003
30px Higashiosaka April 1, 2005
Hyōgo Prefecture 30px Himeji April 1, 1996
30px Nishinomiya April 1, 2008
30px Amagasaki April 1, 2009 Was a special city until March 31, 2009
Nara Prefecture 30px Nara April 1, 2002
Wakayama Prefecture 30px Wakayama April 1, 1997
Chūgoku Okayama Prefecture 30px Kurashiki April 1, 2002
Hiroshima Prefecture 30px Fukuyama April 1, 1998
Yamaguchi Prefecture 30px Shimonoseki October 1, 2005 The least populous Core City.[1]
Shikoku Kagawa Prefecture 30px Takamatsu April 1, 1999
Ehime Prefecture 30px Matsuyama April 1, 2000
Kōchi Prefecture 30px Kōchi April 1, 1998
Kyūshū Fukuoka Prefecture 30px Kurume April 1, 2008
Nagasaki Prefecture 30px Nagasaki April 1, 1997
Kumamoto Prefecture 30px Kumamoto April 1, 1996
Ōita Prefecture 30px Ōita April 1, 1997
Miyazaki Prefecture 30px Miyazaki April 1, 1998
Kagoshima Prefecture 30px Kagoshima April 1, 1996

Former core cities

Scheduled to become a core city


Cities that meet the requirements but have not yet been nominated

The following cities have populations greater than 300,000 but have not yet been nominated. (Cities planning to apply for core city status are not shown. ※Special Cities)

Cities that do not meet the requirements but are planning to nominate


  1. 1.0 1.1 As of May 2008