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In an effort to streamline Tokyo’s bloated bureaucracy, Gov. Yukio Aoshima unveiled Thursday what he calls an extensive and drastic administrative restructuring plan to reduce its 18 bureaus to seven bureaus and six departments by next year at the earliest.

Under the plan, the local government’s managerial posts — chiefs of bureaus, departments and divisions –would be reduced by more than 200 from the current 2,273, according to the metropolitan government.

While mapping out the plan, a metro task force first sorted out government activities into 32 categories in view of policymaking functions and then grouped them into seven proposed bureaus such as policy, general affairs, social welfare, living, environment, industry and city.

Entities like Tokyo Metropolitan University and the Central Wholesale Market are organized separately as independent departments. The Tax Bureau will be designated as one of the six departments in view of its high expertise, officials said.

The plan is the most drastic in the history of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which was upgraded from the status of a city in 1943, Aoshima said. “I have drawn up this reform plan following my responsibility as governor and my conscience,” Aoshima told a news conference. Administrative reform is one of the major efforts Aoshima has been pushing since he took office four years ago.

However, it remains unclear whether the plan will actually be implemented since it is likely to be opposed by the assembly and the metropolitan workers’ unions, and it is expected that the reorganization bills will only be submitted to the assembly after the April gubernatorial election.

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