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List of metropolitan areas in Japan by population

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Title: List of metropolitan areas in Japan by population  
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List of metropolitan areas in Japan by population

Kantō MMA
Keihanshin MMA

This table contains lists of Japanese metropolitan areas (都市圏), as defined by the Statistics Bureau of Japan (SBJ). The lists include the prefectures containing the region, the population of the region, and the central cities of each region. The region containing most of the people in Japan between Tokyo and Fukuoka is often called the Taiheiyo Belt.

Usage note: Metropolitan area populations are often controversial and the methods used to calculate them vary from country to country and source to source, so great care should be taken when comparing the figures in this table with figures for any other country. Meaningful comparisons of metropolitan area population figures can only be made if the methods used to determine each figure are consistent.


The Statistics Bureau of Japan (SBJ) defines a metropolitan area as one or more central cities and its associated outlying municipalities. To qualify as an outlying municipality, the municipality must have at least 1.5% of its resident population aged 15 and above commuting to school or work into one of the central cities. To qualify as a central city, a city must either be a designated city of any population or a non-designated city with a city proper population of at least 500,000. Metropolitan areas of designated cities are defined as "major metropolitan areas" (大都市圏) while those of non-designated cities are simply "metropolitan areas" (都市圏). If multiple central cities are close enough such that their outlying cities overlap, they are combined together and a single metropolitan area is defined rather than independently.

The metropolitan areas written in bold are the 8 major metropolitan areas of Japan.

  • Oct. 1st, 2005
  • MMA : Major Metropolitan Area
  • MA : Metropolitan Area
  • Source: Statistics Bureau of Japan[1]
Rank Area Prefecture Central City Area Population
01 Kantō MMA Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture 23 special wards area, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Chiba, Saitama 35,682,460
02 Keihanshin MMA Osaka Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, Hyōgo Prefecture, Nara Prefecture, Shiga Prefecture, Wakayama Prefecture Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto 18,768,395
03 Chūkyō MMA Aichi Prefecture, Gifu Prefecture, Mie Prefecture Nagoya 8,923,445
04 Kitakyūshū-Fukuoka MMA Fukuoka Prefecture Fukuoka, Kitakyushu 5,590,378
05 Sapporo MMA Ishikari Subprefecture in Hokkaidō Sapporo 2,606,214
06 Sendai MMA Miyagi Prefecture Sendai 2,289,656
07 Hiroshima MMA Hiroshima Prefecture Hiroshima 2,064,536
08 Okayama MMA Okayama Prefecture Okayama 1,646,757
09 Kumamoto MA Kumamoto Prefecture Kumamoto 1,462,409
10 Niigata MMA Niigata Prefecture Niigata 1,442,958
11 Shizuoka MMA Shizuoka Prefecture Shizuoka 1,427,107
12 Hamamatsu MA Shizuoka Prefecture Hamamatsu 1,304,548
13 Kagoshima MA Kagoshima Prefecture Kagoshima 1,132,106
14 Matsuyama MA Ehime Prefecture Matsuyama 724,048

Metropolitan areas in census 2010

The following metropolitan areas were planned by SBJ to be included in the final 2010 Census report.[2]

  • New central cities in Kantō and Keihanshin major metropolitan areas
    • Sagamihara in the Kantō MMA and Sakai in the Keihanshin MMA have become designated cities in 2010 and 2006 respectively. These cities are already well within their MMAs and should not greatly alter their formation.
  • Niigata and Okayama major metropolitan areas
    • Niigata became a designated city in 2007 and Okayama became a designated city in 2009. These cities therefore formed major metropolitan areas in the 2010 census.
  • Shizuoka, Hamamatsu major metropolitan area
    • Hamamatsu also became a designated city in 2007. As its outlying areas overlap with Shizuoka, the two cities formed a single major metropolitan area in the 2010 census.
  • Utsunomiya metropolitan area
    • Utsunomiya qualified as a central city for the 2010 census, resulting from mergers with neighboring municipalities and subsequent population growth.

Urban Employment Area

Urban Employment Area is another definition of metropolitan areas, defined by the Center for Spatial Information Service, the University of Tokyo.


  1. ^ Statistics Bureau of Japan, 2005 Census Final Data
  2. ^ Statistics Bureau of Japan, 2010 Census Definitions

See also

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