Decision to conduct the second referendum on the Osaka Metropolitan Plan

“Osaka Metropolitan Plan” 2nd Referendum Decision September 3 16:54

The so-called “Osaka Metropolitan Plan” agreement, which abolished the city of Osaka as a designated city by Cabinet Order and reorganized it into four special wards, was approved by a majority vote by the Osaka City Council, and a referendum was decided by the voters of Osaka City.
This is the second time a referendum has been held since 2015 five years ago.

The temporary city council of Osaka City, which deliberates on the agreement of the so-called “Osaka Metropolitan Plan”, held a plenary session on the third day of the closing day, and the five factions of the city council debated in their respective positions of support and opposition.

After this, a vote by the name vote was held, and the agreement was approved by a majority of the Osaka Restoration Association and the Komeito Party.

On the other hand, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Communist Party opposed it.

As for the agreement, it was approved by a majority in favor of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly last month, which led to a referendum by voters in Osaka City.

This is the second time a referendum has been held since 2015 five years ago.

Mayor Matsui of Osaka City, who is the head of the Osaka Restoration Association, is aiming to held a referendum on November 1, and he would like to make a final decision after assessing the infection status of the new coronavirus and the situation surrounding national politics.

Tokyo Plan: What will change and how will it change?

The so-called “Osaka Metropolitan Plan” is a plan to abolish Osaka City, a city designated by Cabinet Order, based on the model of Tokyo’s 23 wards and reorganize it into four special wards, while this special ward will play a role in the administration familiar to residents such as child rearing and welfare, while the regional administration such as growth strategy and firefighting will be concentrated in Osaka Prefecture.

The agreement between Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City states that the current Osaka City will be abolished and four new special wards will be established: Asahikawa-ku, Kita-ku, Chuo-ku, and Tennoji-ku.

The date of transition to the special ward is January 1, 2017, the year Reiwa Kansai Expo will be held.

The four special wards include Shin-Osaka in Asahikawa-ku, Umeda in Kita-ku, Minami in Chuo-ku, Tennoji-ji Temple in Tennoji-ku, and commercial areas that are based respectively.

In addition, the government buildings in the current 24 wards, including Osaka City Hall, will be used as the main office building and administrative window of the special ward to maintain convenience for residents.

On the financial front, Osaka Prefecture will spend a certain amount of money on special wards every year for the first ten years in order to provide stable resident services.

In addition to establishing child guidance centers in all four special wards, Osaka Prefecture will establish new organizations such as the Special Ward Cooperation Bureau, which is responsible for coordinating with special wards, and the Fire Department, which oversees firefighting.

In addition, the number of ward council members per special ward is 18 in Asahikawa-ku, 23 in Kita-ku and Chuo-ku, and 19 in Tennoji-ku.

On the other hand, the initial cost of the transition to a special ward is expected to be 18.2 billion yen for system renovation costs, 4.6 billion yen for the construction of government buildings, and 24.1 billion yen for the cost of changing the town guidance display, etc.

Opponents, on the other hand, have pointed out that the abolition of Osaka City may lead to a decline in residents’ services, such as welfare and education, and questions as to whether the special wards will be financially edgy.

Chief Cabinet Secretary”Expectation of sincere discussion among the parties concerned”

At a press conference in the afternoon, Chief Cabinet Secretary Naoto Kan said, “We recognize that the Osaka Metropolitan Plan is an effort to eliminate double administration and expand residents’ autonomy by abolishing Osaka City and establishing special wards. The success or failure of the establishment of a special ward is to be left to the judgment of the region in accordance with the procedures of laws and regulations. We look forward to sincere discussions among the parties concerned.”