A core city (中核市) is a class or category of Japanese cities. It is a local administrative division created by the national government. +more 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 have a population greater than 300,000 and an area greater than 100 square kilometers, although special exceptions may be made by order of the cabinet for cities with populations under 300,000 but over 200,000. After the abolition of special city status on April 1, 2015, any city with a population above 200,000 may apply for core city status.

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

History

The term "core city" was created by the first clause of Article 252, Section 22 of the Local Autonomy Law of Japan.

List of core cities

As of 1 April 2021, 62 cities have been designated core cities:

NameJapaneseFlagEmblemArea (km2)Population (2012)Date of designationRegionPrefectureMap
Akashi49. 22290,9272018-04-01KansaiHyōgo
Akita906. +more07322,2241997-04-01TōhokuAkita
Amagasaki49. 77451,3532009-04-01KansaiHyōgo
Aomori824. 61297,3482006-10-01TōhokuAomori
Asahikawa747. 6351,7652000-04-01HokkaidōHokkaidō
Fukui536. 41266,6122019-04-01ChūbuFukui
Fukushima767. 72289,3552018-04-01TōhokuFukushima
Fukuyama518. 14462,1441998-04-01ChūgokuHiroshima
Funabashi85. 62610,4922003-04-01KantōChiba
Gifu203. 60412,7181996-04-01ChūbuGifu
Hachinohe305. 56241,6132017-01-01TōhokuAomori
Hachiōji186. 38579,7992015-04-01KantōTokyo
Hakodate677. 89279,0562005-10-01HokkaidōHokkaidō
Higashiōsaka61. 78508,2672005-04-01KansaiOsaka
Himeji534. 43536,2181996-04-01KansaiHyōgo
Hirakata65. 08407,9972014-04-01KansaiOsaka
Ichinomiya113. 82379,6542021-04-01ChūbuAichi
Iwaki1,232. 02332,9941999-04-01TōhokuFukushima
Kagoshima547. 58607,2571996-04-01KyushuKagoshima
Kashiwa114. 74404,8632008-04-01KantōChiba
Kanazawa468. 64462,7961996-04-01ChūbuIshikawa
Kawagoe109. 13345,3612003-04-01KantōSaitama
Kawaguchi61. 95561,7882018-04-01KantōSaitama
Kōchi309. 22342,5681998-04-01ShikokuKōchi
Kōfu212. 47197,3182019-04-01ChūbuYamanashi
Kōriyama757. 20331,1401997-04-01TōhokuFukushima
Koshigaya60. 24328,0792015-04-01KantōSaitama
Kurashiki355. 63477,0862002-04-01ChūgokuOkayama
Kure352. 80236,5952016-04-01ChūgokuHiroshima
Kurume229. 96301,8212008-04-01KyushuFukuoka
Maebashi311. 59338,4812009-04-01KantōGunma
Matsue572. 99208,1602018-04-01ChūgokuShimane
Matsumoto978. 47239,4662021-04-01ChūbuNagano
Matsuyama429. 40516,8232000-04-01ShikokuEhime
Mito217. 32269,1622020-04-01KantōIbaraki
Miyazaki643. 67402,2891998-04-01KyushuMiyazaki
Morioka886. 47299,7342008-04-01TōhokuIwate
Naha39. 98321,6952013-04-01KyushuOkinawa
Nagano834. 81380,5811999-04-01ChūbuNagano
Nagasaki240. 71440,9111997-04-01KyushuNagasaki
Nara276. 84365,4212002-04-01KansaiNara
Neyagawa24. 73238,8192019-04-01KansaiOsaka
Nishinomiya99. 96483,8782008-04-01KansaiHyōgo
Ōita502. 38476,0081997-04-01KyushuŌita
Okazaki387. 20374,0852003-04-01ChūbuAichi
Ōtsu464. 51339,4692009-04-01KansaiShiga
Sasebo426. 06259,6762016-04-01KyushuNagasaki
Shimonoseki716. 14277,9372005-10-01ChūgokuYamaguchi
Suita36. 11357,9172020-04-01KansaiOsaka
Takamatsu375. 41420,3561999-04-01ShikokuKagawa
Takasaki459. 16371,8202011-04-01KantōGunma
Takatsuki105. 31355,8402003-04-01KansaiOsaka
Tottori765. 31196,5382018-04-01ChūgokuTottori
Toyama1,241. 77421,3932005-04-01ChūbuToyama
Toyohashi261. 86375,8041999-04-01ChūbuAichi
Toyonaka36. 38390,4572012-04-01KansaiOsaka
Toyota918. 32420,6801998-04-01ChūbuAichi
Utsunomiya416. 85513,7221996-04-01KantōTochigi
Wakayama210. 25368,6841997-04-01KansaiWakayama
Yamagata381. 58254,5192019-04-01TōhokuYamagata
Yao41. 71270,7352018-04-01KansaiOsaka
Yokosuka100. 7415,2592001-04-01KantōKanagawa
.

Former core cities

NameJapaneseFlagEmblemArea (km2)PopulationDate of designationDate of reclassificationRegionPrefectureMap
Hamamatsu1,558. 06795,3501996-04-012007-04-01 (Designated city)ChūbuShizuoka
Kumamoto390. +more32737,8121996-04-012012-04-01 (Designated city)KyushuKumamoto
Niigata726. 45807,4501996-04-012007-04-01 (Designated city)ChūbuNiigata
Okayama789. 95720,8411996-04-012009-04-01 (Designated city)ChūgokuOkayama
Sagamihara328. 91720,9862003-04-012010-04-01 (Designated city)KantōKanagawa
Sakai149. 82833,5441996-04-012006-04-01 (Designated city)KansaiOsaka
Shizuoka1,411. 90697,5781996-04-012005-04-01 (Designated city)ChūbuShizuoka
.

Scheduled to become a core city

NameJapaneseFlagEmblemArea (km2)Population (2012)Scheduled dateRegionPrefectureMap
Chigasaki35. 71236,2222020-04-01KantōKanagawa
Fuji244. +more95253,455TBDChūbuShizuoka
Kishiwada72. 68198,6152020-04-01KansaiOsaka
Odawara113. 79197,4132020-04-01KantōKanagawa
Tsukuba283. 72216,221TBDKantōIbaraki
Tokorozawa72. 11342,321TBDKantōSaitama
Yokkaichi206. 44307,5992020 (aiming)KansaiMie
.

Cities that meet the requirements but have not yet been nominated

The following cities have populations greater than 200,000 but have not yet been nominated. (Cities planning to apply for core city status are not shown. +more)

NameJapaneseFlagEmblemArea (km2)PopulationRegionPrefectureMap
Ageo45. 51229,517KantōSaitama
Chōfu21. 58240,668KantōTokyo
Fuchū29. 43260,891KantōTokyo
Fujisawa69. 57420,254KantōKanagawa
Ichihara368. 17274,117KantōChiba
Ichikawa56. 39491,804KantōChiba
Machida71. 80429,040KantōTokyo
Matsudo61. 38498,575KantōChiba
Tokushima191258,554ShikokuTokushima
Tsu711. 11279,304KansaiMie
.