Japan has three levels of governments: national, prefectural, and municipal. The nation is divided into 47 prefectures. Each prefecture consists of numerous municipalities, with 1,719 in total (January 2013 figures) . There are four types of municipalities in Japan: cities, towns, villages and special wards (the ku of Tokyo). In Japanese, this system is known as shikuchōson (市区町村), where each kanji in the word represents one of the four types of municipalities. Some designated cities also have further administrative subdivisions, also known as wards. But, unlike the Special wards of Tokyo, these wards are not municipalities.