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The Tokyo Portal

Location of Tokyo within Japan
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Symbol of Tokyo

Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Located on the eastern side of the main island Honshū, Tokyo is unique among the prefectures, providing certain municipal services characteristic of a city, as defined by Japanese law.

Because it is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family, Tokyo is the de facto capital of Japan. The name Tokyo literally means eastern capital.

The twenty-three special wards of Tokyo, although each administratively a city in its own right, constitute the area often incorrectly considered to be the "city" of Tokyo and, if they were a city, would collectively be one of the largest cities in the world with a total population of over 8 million people. The total population of the prefecture exceeds 12 million.

The Greater Tokyo Area, centered on Tokyo but also including Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama, is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with a population of over 35 million people. It has been the world's most populous urban area since between 1965 and 1970, and despite Japan's overall declining population, is still growing.

Selected article

Yasukuni Shrine's honden
Yasukuni Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is dedicated to the kami (spirits) of soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan. Currently, its Symbolic Registry of Divinities lists the names of over 2,466,000 enshrined men and women whose lives were dedicated to the service of Imperial Japan, particularly to those killed in wartime. The shrine is a source of considerable controversy. Of the almost 2.5 million enshrined, 1,068 have been convicted of war crimes by a post World War II court, including 14 Class-A war criminals ("crime against peace"). The Yūshūkan—a shrine-owned history museum—has been accused of revisionism in its accounts of Japan's actions in World War II, as well as glorification of Japan's aggressive militaristic past. Visits to the shrine by Japanese Cabinet members and Prime Ministers, in particular, have been the cause of protests at home as well as abroad. People's Republic of China, North Korea, South Korea and Republic of China (Taiwan) have protested against various visits since 1985.

Selected picture

Ginza, c.1904
Credit: Underwood & Underwood

Looking north down a street in Ginza, the most important thoroughfare in Tokyo, Japan, c.1904.

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