How is the local government of Japan conducted?
The Constitution of Japan guarantees local autonomy.
Governors, ward chiefs, city mayors, village mayors and members of their assemblies are directly elected by residents.
However, the municipalities are heavily dependent on the state, because their major job is business entrusted by the state, and public works in those municipalities cannot be implemented without financial assistance from the state.
It is said that, on average, 70% of the financial resources of local governments comes from subsidies from the central government.
Out of a need to expand the authority of local governments, the central government proposed several changes to revise local governments in 2003.
Reforms included reducing subsidies from the central government and revising the tax allocation system for local governments, and also moving the tax source to the local areas.
By implementing these three changes, the central government intends to form the infrastructure leading to independent action by local governments.