Kumamoto given greater authority


The city of Kumamoto on Sunday was accorded expanded administrative authority after it was elevated to a “government ordinance-designated city.”

The municipal government is now empowered to handle 317 different kinds of administrative affairs, including recruitment of public school teachers and maintenance of national and prefectural roads, on behalf of the Kumamoto Prefectural Government.

Kazuhiro Hara, a 30-year-old Kumamoto resident who came to watch a celebratory event marking the city’s new status, said he expects it to be a shot in the arm for Kumamoto.

“I hope the designation will lead to an increase in tourists and boost the city,” he said.

Kumamoto is the 20th city in the nation and the third in Kyushu after Kitakyushu and Fukuoka to receive the designation, which was set up under a system introduced in 1956 to transfer more powers and financial resources to cities.