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Administration

City Vision

Faced with the drastic changes affecting the whole world, the local government is now required to assume greater responsibility for accurately predicting the trends of the times and planning for city management based on mid- and long-term perspectives.
As a self-sustaining local government, the City of Okayama has been promoting sustainable city management on its own account, by offering quality services in the fields vital to wellbeing of the city’s citizens, such as healthcare, welfare, education and economy, under the “Okayama City Vision” adopted in 2007. These efforts are enabling the city to make the most of its rich natural environment and resources, as well as its advantageous location at the juncture of the Chugoku and Shikoku regions. (See separate brochure.)

Finance

Although under severe financial strain, including a reduction in general finances such as city tax, the City of Okayama has worked unflinchingly to implement administrative and financial reform based on the new outline of Okayama City administrative and financial reform. It is also anticipated that mandatory social assistance expenditures and the balance carried forward from the special account for social insurance finance that cannot be controlled by means of municipal fiscal management will continue to increase in accordance with the continued low birthrate and longer lifespans.
To respond to such increases in expenditure for social security, etc., as well as to promote social welfare and the creation of a lively community, we need to address administrative and financial reform to create financial resources.
We will attempt to achieve fiscal soundness by using resources created through various initiatives, including thorough administrative and financial reform, both to build a secure and safe society and to make our community a vibrant and comfortable place to live, by working actively on measures to improve citizens' welfare such as education, human resource development for child-raising, healthcare, welfare, and medicine.

General Account (Fiscal Year 2007)

Total Revenue: 221.7 billion yen

Municipal, local allocation and local transfer taxes: 162.9 billion yen (73.5%)

Disbursement from central government: 22.8 billion yen (10.3%)p

Disbursement from prefectural government: 9.1 billion yen (4.1%)

Other (bonds, property income, etc.): 26.8 billion yen (12.1%)

Total Expenditure: 221.7 billion yen

Welfare: 69.2 million yen (31.2%)

Redemption of municipal bonds: 40.9 million yen (18.5%)

Housing, urban planning & infrastructure, etc.: 33.5 million yen (15.1%)

Environment & sanitation: 20.8 million yen (9.4%)

Education & culture: 18.4 million yen (8.3%)

Industrial promotion: 1.9 million yen (0.9%)

Other: 370 million yen (16.6%)

Local Government

Cities in Japan with populations exceeding 500,000 and that are designated by Cabinet order are known as “Designated Cities.” The City of Okayama aims to be designated as the 18th such city in Japan. These Designated Cities are authorized to administer governmental jurisdiction similar to their surrounding prefectures, in areas including social welfare, public health, and urban planning. Some laws also delegate authority in such areas as national road management and compulsory education.

Okayama, like other ordinary local authorities, consists of an executive branch and a legislature. The legislature (the elected council) comprises the City Council, which determines budgets, enacts local legislation, and makes decisions on its policies. The executive branch implements the policies decided by the legislature. It includes mayors and their executive committees. Local government in Japan is based on a system whereby mayors and councilors are directly elected, and functions on the principle of separation of powers and internal checks and balances to ensure democratic local administration.

The Role of the Mayor

The mayor is directly elected to serve four-year terms and is not permitted to simultaneously serve as a member of the Diet or a local councilor, nor to be a regular official. The mayor is responsible for ensuring the overall consistency of the local authority’s services and functions, and is authorized to represent the authority externally. Important powers given to the mayor include the rights to enact regulations, to draft budgets, to introduce bills, and to appoint members of administrative committees as well as deputy-mayors, a treasurer and other officials of their respective local authorities.

The Role of the City Council

The City Assembly consists of 52 members who are directly elected to serve four-year terms. Decision-making on the city’s major policies is the principal task of the City Assembly, while the implementation and supervision of municipal administration is the task of the mayor. In addition to the decision-making tasks, the city council actively performs other important functions, such as checking the city administration’s operations.

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Okayama City
Phone:086-803-1000
Address:1-1-1Daiku Kita-ku Okayama-shi Okayama 700-8544[map
8:30-17:15(monday-Friday)