市町村 Municipal Governments in Japan

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Dec 13, 2014 20:15
There are three kinds of municipal governments in Japan. 市 City, 町 Town, and 村 Village. They have the similar function. They are sectioned by the size of population. The City is a community that has over fifty thousands population. The Town has about over ten and five thousands population. The Village is the smallest community of them.
You require considerable attention when you pronounce 町 and 村, because they have two pronunciations. 町 is pronounced as machi or cho. Those sounds are never replaceable. For example, 大島町 Oshima Machi has to be always pronounced as Oshima Machi. Oshima Cho is never acceptable. 太子町 Taishi Cho has to be always pronounced as so. Similarly, 村 has two pronunciations, mura and son. 桧原村 Hinohara Mura is never pronounced as Hinohara Son, and 読谷村 Yomitan Son is never pronounced as Yomitan Mura.

政令指定都市 Seirei Shitei Toshi (Cities designated by government ordinance) is a particular legal status given to large Cities that have about over eight-hundreds thousands population. There are 20 cities that have this status, such as Sapporo City, Sendai City, Yokohama City, Nagoya City, Kyoto City, Osaka City, Hiroshima City, and Fukuoka City. They are allowed to put "Wards" in their communities. However, in this instance, those wards have no administrative function.
Tokyo has 23 wards, and those wards have administrative functions exceptionally. This means the wards in Tokyo are a kind of municipal governments. For example, the Setagaya Ward has its council and mayor. Tokyo is not one City, but a federation that has 23 municipal governments.