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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 October 28 - November 3  > Osaka citizens in referendum hand down 'No' to city split-up plan
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2020 October 28 - November 3 [POLITICS]

Osaka citizens in referendum hand down 'No' to city split-up plan

November 2, 2020
The majority of Osaka citizens in a city referendum held on November 1 voted against the plan to break up Osaka City and to divide it into four special wards, demonstrating their desire to keep the city intact.

The so-called Osaka Metropolis Plan was to dissolve the existing city which has 130 years of history and siphon off the city's financial resources and its authority to an Osaka metropolis (currently Osaka Prefecture) so that the governor can freewheelingly handle the whole of Osaka. Citizens' opposition, however, beat back the forces of the "Osaka Ishin no Kai", the ruling party in Osaka.

Following the first referendum in May of 2015, the Osaka Metropolis scheme was voted down for the second time. Voter turnout was 62.35%, down 4.48 percentage points.

During the campaign leading up to the referendum, citizens' groups opposing the metropolis plan and the Japanese Communist Party argued that the creation of special wards will cause revenue shortfalls of about 20 billion yen every year and that it will need as much as 130 billion yen for the establishment of the four new wards within the next 15 years. Criticizing the plan for inevitably lowering the quality of public services, they said, "Only with the Osaka City government can Osaka citizens' livelihoods and lives be protected."

Meanwhile, the "Osaka Ishin no Kai" party distributed flyers claiming, "The 'Metropolis Plan will lower the quality of public services' is a lie." "Osaka Ishin no Kai" members of the Osaka prefectural assembly as well as Osaka City Mayor Matsui Ichiro who heads the party even attacked the JCP in their street speeches by saying, "Osaka has gone into decline due to the JCP."

Past related article:
> Scholars express concern over Osaka split-up scheme [October 13 & 14, 2020]

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