OSAKA — Should the municipal boundaries of Osaka Prefecture be redrawn so that the city of Osaka is a ward of the prefecture? Or should the prefecture be scrapped entirely, leaving a “Super City Osaka”?

Not too many years ago, most people here, especially those in the bureaucracies, would have dismissed either of the suggestions as unrealistic. However, with both the city and prefecture facing skyrocketing public-sector debts, a declining local economy, and the need to compete with other major regions for national and international investment, some in local business and academic circles and the media are suggesting a Tokyolike administrative body to resolve these problems.

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