|Subdivisions||Districts: 7, Municipalities: 29|
|o Governor||Eikei Suzuki (since April 2011)|
|o Total||5,774.41 km2 (2,229.51 sq mi)|
(June 1, 2019)
|o Density||310/km2 (800/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-24|
Mie Prefecture (, Mie-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of Honshu. Mie Prefecture has a population of 1,781,948 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 5,774 km2 (2,229 sq mi). Mie Prefecture borders Gifu Prefecture to the north, Shiga Prefecture and Kyoto Prefecture to the northwest, Nara Prefecture to the west, Wakayama Prefecture to the southwest, and Aichi Prefecture to the east.
Tsu is the capital and Yokkaichi is the largest city of Mie Prefecture, with other major cities including Suzuka, Matsusaka, and Kuwana. Mie Prefecture is located on the eastern coast of the Kii Peninsula, forming the western side of Ise Bay which features the mouths of the Kiso Three Rivers. Mie Prefecture is a popular tourism destination home to Nagashima Spa Land, Suzuka International Racing Course, and some of the oldest and holiest sites in Shinto, the traditional religion of Japan, including the Ise Grand Shrine and the Tsubaki Grand Shrine.
Evidence of human habitation in Mie dates back more than 10,000 years. During the J?mon and Yayoi periods, agricultural communities began to form along the river and coastal areas of the region. Ise Shrine is said to have been established during the Yayoi period, and in the 7th century the Saik? Imperial Residence was built in what is now Meiwa Town to serve as both a residence and administrative centre for the Sai?, an Imperial Princess who served as High Priestess of Ise Shrine.
During the Edo period, the area now known as Mie Prefecture consisted of several feudal domains, each ruled by an appointed lord. Transport networks, including the Tokaido and Ise Roads, were built. Port towns such as Ohminato, Kuwana and An?tsu, posting stations and castle towns flourished. Pilgrimages to Ise Shrine also became very popular.
After the Meiji Restoration, the former provinces of Ise, Shima and Iga as well as a portion of eastern Kii, were organized and reorganized repeatedly. In 1871 the area from the Kiso Three Rivers in the north to present-day Tsu became An?tsu Prefecture, and the area south of that became Watarai Prefecture. In 1872, the An?tsu prefectural seat moved from Tsu to Yokkaichi, and the prefecture itself was renamed Mie. For a variety of reasons, including the strong likelihood that Mie would eventually merge with Watarai, the prefectural seat returned to Tsu the following year, and Mie Prefecture took its present-day form in 1876, when it merged with its southern neighbor.
The name Mie supposedly was taken from a comment about the region made by Yamato Takeru on his way back from conquering the eastern regions.
In 1959 many lives were lost as parts of Mie were devastated by the Ise-wan Typhoon, the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in recorded history. Crops were destroyed, sea walls ruined, roads and railways damaged and a substantial number of people were injured or left homeless.
Japan Meteorological Agency]]: The primary division is between North/Central and South, the former being further subdivided into North, Central and Iga, the latter into Ise-Shima and KiSei/East Kish?; Ise/Sei[-sh?], Shima/Shi[-sh?], Iga/I[-sh?) and Kii/Ki[-sh?] are the four Ritsury? provinces that are partly or entirely part of modern Mie.]]
Mie Prefecture forms the eastern part of the Kii Peninsula, and borders on Aichi, Gifu, Shiga, Kyoto, Nara, and Wakayama. It is considered[by whom?] part of the Kansai and T?kai regions due to its geographical proximity to Aichi Prefecture and its cultural influence from Kansai, such as the fact that Kansai dialect is spoken in Mie. Traditionally, though, the Iga region of Mie is considered to have always been a part of Kansai.
Mie Prefecture measures 170 km (106 mi) from north to south, and 80 km (50 mi) from east to west, and includes five distinct geographical areas:
Mie has a coastline that stretches 1,094.9 km (680.3 mi) and, as of 2000, Mie's 5,776.44 km2 (2,230.30 sq mi) landmass is 64.8% forest, 11.5% agriculture, 6% residential area, 3.8% roads, and 3.6% rivers. The remaining 10.3% are not classified.
The Ise Plain has a relatively moderate climate, averaging 14 to 15 degrees Celsius for the year. The Iga Basin has more daily temperature variance and averages temperatures 1 to 2 degrees cooler than the Ise Plain. Southern Mie, south of the Shima Peninsula, has a warmer Pacific marine climate, with Owase Region having one of the heaviest rainfall figures for all of Japan.
Fourteen cities are located in Mie Prefecture:
These are the towns in each district:
Mie Prefecture has traditionally been a link between east and west Japan, thanks largely to the Tokaido and Ise Pilgrimage Roads. Traditional handicrafts such as Iga Braid, Yokkaichi Banko Pottery, Suzuka Ink, Iga Pottery and Ise Katagami flourished. With 65% of the prefecture consisting of forests and with over 1,000 km (600 mi) of coastline, Mie has a long been associated with forestry and seafood industries. Mie also produces tea, beef, cultured pearls and fruit, mainly mandarin oranges. Food production companies include Azuma Foods.
Northern Mie is home to a number of manufacturing industries, mainly transport machinery manufacturing (vehicles and ships) and heavy chemical industries such as oil refineries. As well as this, Mie Prefecture is expanding into more advanced industries including the manufacture of semiconductors and liquid crystal displays. In Suzuka, the Honda Motor Company maintains a factory established in 1960 that built the Honda Civic as well as other vehicles.
|Mie Prefecture Demographics (as of 2014)|
|Population aged under 15||240,263|
|Population aged 15 to 64||1,076,257|
|Population aged over 64||491,779|
|Population density (per km2)||315.3|
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The prefectural government was briefly moved to Yokkaichi Town in Mie District in 1872 (hence the name Mie), but the capital moved back to Anotsu, An? District (present-day Tsu City) in 1873 and has remained there since. Ignoring small changes through cross-prefectural municipal mergers, neighbourhood transfers and coastline variations, Mie reached its present borders in 1876 when it absorbed Watarai Prefecture. After the modern reactivation of districts in 1878/79, Mie consisted of 21 districts (merged down to 15 in the 1890s). The first prefectural assembly was elected in March 1879 and convened in April. In the introduction of modern cities, towns and villages in 1889, Anotsu became district-independent as Tsu City and the districts were subdivided into 18 towns and 317 villages (see the List of mergers in Mie Prefecture for changes since then).
As in all prefectures except Okinawa, the governor of Mie is directly elected since 1947. The prefectural assembly has 51 members. Both prefectural elections in Mie are currently held as part of unified local elections. In the last round in 2019, governor Eikei Suzuki easily won a third term with broad support from LDP, Shinsei Mie (see below) and K?meit?, against only one, JCP-supported challenger; Suzuki was originally elected narrowly in 2011 as centre-right candidate against centre-left supported Naohisa Matsuda, former mayor of Tsu City. In the Mie assembly, the LDP is strongest party; but it is distributed across several parliamentary groups, and the strongest group is Shisei Mie (?; "Renewal Mie") around members of several local parties of former Democrats.
In the National Diet, Mie is represented by four directly elected members of the House of Representatives and two (one per class) in the House of Councillors. After the national elections of 2016, 2017 and 2019, Mie's directly elected delegation was evenly split between Liberal Democrats (HR district #1: Norihisa Tamura, #4: Noriyo Mitsuya, HC 2019-25 class: Y?mi Yoshikawa) and ex-Democrats (HR #2: Masaharu Nakagawa, #3: Katsuya Okada, HC 2016-22 class: Hirokazu Shiba) in both houses of the Diet.