Tokyo Metropolis

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This article is about the present-day Tokyo government. For other uses, see Tokyo (disambiguation).

Tokyo Metropolis (東京都 Tōkyō-to?), not to be confused with the Tokyo metropolitan area, is the local government of the traditional city of Tokyo (1869–1943) and the associated municipalities of what was formerly Tokyo Prefecture (1869–1943).[1] It is one of Japan's 47 prefectures.


In 1943, the administration of Tokyo city merged with the administration of Tokyo Prefecture. Tokyo prefecture's other municipalities remained Tokyo Metropolis' municipalities.

Between 1943 and 1947 under the Tōkyō tosei (東京都制, roughly "Tokyo Metropolitan system" or "code"), a law that took effect on July 1, 1943.[1] Tōkyō-to served as both the prefectural government for Tokyo and the municipal government for what had previously been Tokyo City.

Tokyo's administrative structure from 1943 to 1947 under the Tōkyō tosei
Prefectural level Tōkyō-to ("Tokyo Metropolis")
formerly Tōkyō-fu
Municipal level (dissolved Tokyo City) 2 remaining cities (shi)
Hachiōji and Tachikawa
Towns (machi) and villages (mura)
in West Tama, North Tama and South Tama counties, island subprefectures
  35 wards (ku)

Since 1947, the former city area is administered in 23 special wards. During the US-led Allied occupation and again since 1975, citizens of special wards are allowed to directly elect their mayors as in other municipalities. In several reforms, municipal responsibilities have been devolved from the Metropolitan to the special ward governments. In 2000, they were formally recognized by law as local public entities on the municipal level; but the Metropolitan government continues to exert some municipal authority, e.g. for fire protection.

Tokyo's administrative structure today
Prefectural level Tōkyō-to ("Tokyo Metropolis")
Municipal level 23 special wards (tokubetsu-ku) 26 cities (shi)
in former North Tama, South Tama counties and parts of West Tama
5 towns (machi) and 8 villages (mura)
in remaining West Tama county, island subprefectures
Note: For the tokubetsu-ku, the prefectural government continues to use the literal translation "special ward", the wards themselves use "city" as English translation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tokyo Metropolitan Government, 東京都年表 (Japanese); retrieved 2013-4-13.

Further reading[edit]

  • Steiner, Kurt. (1965). Local Government in Japan

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°41′N 139°46′E / 35.68°N 139.77°E / 35.68; 139.77