About Activities of the Mayors Association of Designated Cities

Learn about What We Do

  • Make policy proposals and position statements to the government

    We express the views and positions of designated cities on matters such as advancing decentralization reform and compiling the national budget for the next fiscal year.

  • Hold meetings and liaise and coordinate with cities

    We hold meetings of the mayors of designated cities, and actively exchange views on the pressing issues faced by large cities and the future of designated cities.

  • Carry out investigative surveys, research, and publicity and awareness on issues that are common to large cities

    We compile reports and recommendations on the environment, safety and security, and on advancing decentralization, and submit them to the government and other relevant institutions. We also hold symposiums and other events so that citizens can understand the significance of the issues we are working on.

  • Respond to disasters

    We formulate plans (Mayors Association of Designated Cities Action Plan for Wide-Area/Large-Scale Disasters) so that designated cities can coordinate the measures for dealing with disasters, and work together to provide assistance in disaster-affected areas.

  • Cooperate with international city networks

    The Mayors Association of Designated Cities is active within the Urban7 (U7) framework, and is working in collaboration with the urban coalitions of G7 nations. Through our activities, the Association aims to appeal the important role of cities in addressing environmental, economic, and energy issues.


Name Mayors Association of Designated Cities
Establishment December 21, 2003
Mayors of Designated Cities

Mayor of Sapporo City:  

Mayor of Sendai City: Kazuko Koori

Mayor of Saitama City: Hayato Shimizu (Vice Chairman)

Mayor of Chiba City: Shunichi Kamiya

Mayor of Kawasaki City: Norihiko Fukuda

Mayor of Yokohama City: Takeharu Yamanaka

Mayor of Sagamihara City:  

Mayor of Niigata City: Yaichi Nakahara

Mayor of Shizuoka City: Nobuhiro Tanabe

Mayor of Hamamatsu City: Yasutomo Suzuki (Vice Chairman)

Mayor of Nagoya City: Takashi Kawamura

Mayor of Kyoto City: Daisaku Kadokawa (Vice Chairman)

Mayor of Osaka City:

Mayor of Sakai City: Hideki Nagafuji

Mayor of Kobe City: Kizo Hisamoto (Chairman)

Mayor of Okayama City: Masao Omori

Mayor of Hiroshima City:  

Mayor of Kitakyushu City: Kazuhisa Takeuchi

Mayor of Fukuoka: Soichiro Takashima (Vice Chairman)

Mayor of Kumamoto City: Kazufumi Onishi

Designated Cities

A designated city is defined in the Local Autonomy Act as a “city with a population of 500,000 people or more, as stipulated by government ordinance.”

There are 792 cities in Japan (as of October 1, 2022). However, as there are calls for designated cities to have the same administrative and fiscal functions and other capabilities as prefectures, currently there are 20 cities with a population of about 700,000 people or more that have been designated by government ordinance, and whose residents account for about 20% of Japan’s total population.

In accordance with the “Special Provision on Large Cities” in the Local Autonomy Act, within the administrative work handled by prefectures in general cities, designated cities handle the administrative work on child welfare, public assistance, maternal and child health, food sanitation, tuberculosis prevention, and other matters related to the health and welfare of citizens, as well as the administration of urban planning and land adjustment projects.

Another feature of designated cities is that each city is divided into multiple administrative districts within the city area, with ward offices set up in the districts. These ward offices provide many and varied government services that are closely connected with daily life of residents, including issuing resident registers, processing national health insurance, and promoting regional development.


Secretariat of the Mayors Association of Designated Cities

Tel: +81-3-3591-4772
Fax: +81-3-3591-4774
Address: 6F Municipal Research Building, 1-3 Hibiya Koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0012