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City Recruits Ward Mayor Nationally

In Japan, 19 cities designated by government ordinance are responsible for many of the functions instead of prefecture governments. Each designated city, which has a population of over 0.5 million, has subdivided wards that conduct various administrative functions for the city government. In each of these wards, a mayor is normally appointed by the overall city mayor, from a list of locally important officials.

In November, Sakai City, however, announced the open recruitment for the Mihara Ward Mayor. Mihara is one of the 7 wards in Sakai. It is said to be the first case that a designated city accepted candidates for ward mayor from anywhere in the country. Applicants must have Japanese citizenship and must be between 22 and 62 years old as of April 1st, 2012. Only one will be selected for the ward mayor after candidates submit relevant documents and undergo an interview. The result is scheduled to be announced in February 2012. The term of the ward mayor is one year, renewable for a maximam of 3 years depending on his accomplishments.

The area of Mihara was recently merged into Sakai City in the year before 2006 when Sakai became a designated city. Sakai City Government expects to find a clear-sighted leader who can encourage local development because of extensive experience in the private sector, subject to the general policy of city government.

December 15th , 2011
Keizo Ishibashi