Regional administration, which was previously divided between the prefecture and the city, will be consolidated under the Osaka Prefecture (Metropolis), and the Osaka Prefectural Government (metropolitan government) would exhibit strong leadership while also considering the needs of the Kansai region as a whole.
Since the metropolis plan itself was rejected, there is no longer a procedure to change Osaka into Osaka Metropolis, but even if it had been approved, the referendum would not automatically change the name of Osaka Prefecture to Osaka Metropolis. The law would have to be amended to change the name, which would likely have required another referendum by the 8.8 million residents of Osaka Prefecture.
Such referendum would take place during the gubernatorial and mayoral elections in April 2023. If the referendum were to pass and Osaka Prefecture become Osaka Metropolis, the current structure of Japan with one metropolis (to), one administrative region (do), two metropolitan prefectures (fu), and 43 prefectures (ken) would change for the first time in 80 years to a structure with two metropolises (to), one administrative region (do), one metropolitan prefecture (fu), and 43 prefectures (ken). This would require the rewriting of elementary and middle school social studies textbooks.
Nobuo Sasaki was born in 1948. He graduated from the Graduate School of Political Science at Waseda University and earned his Ph.D. in law at Keio University. After working at the Tokyo Government Office for 16 years, he taught as a professor at Seigakuin University in 1989 and at Chuo University from 1994 to 2018. During this time, he worked as a visiting researcher at the University of California and taught as a lecturer at Keio, Meiji, Nihon, and Saitama Universities. He was a member of the Local Government System Research Council (the 31st term), a member of the Science Council of Japan (the 22nd and 23rd terms), and a special advisor to the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments.
Currently, he is a professor emeritus at Chuo University, a guest professor at the Graduate School of Project Design, the board chairman of the Nihon Kunizukuri Kenkyujo (the Japan Nation Building Research Institute), a special advisor to the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments.
Among his many publications are: Kono Kuni no Tatamikata (How to Reform This Country), Shincho Shinsho; Aratana 'Kuni no Katachi' (The New 'Shape of Japan'), Kadokawa Shinsho; Oiru Tokyo (Aging Tokyo), Kadokawa Shinsho; Chiho Giin no Gyakushu (The Revenge of Local Assembly Members), Kodansha Shinsho; Tochiji (The Tokyo Governor), Chuko Shinsho; and Tocho (The Tokyo Government Office), Iwanami Shinsho.