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capital of Saitama ken (prefecture), east-central Honshu, Japan. Situated in the southeastern part of the prefecture, the city was created in 2001 through the merger of the former cities of Urawa, Yono, and Omiya. It lies near the northern limit of the Tokyo-Yokohama metropolitan area, about 20 miles (32 km) north of central Tokyo. The city site is on the level to gently rolling lowlands of the Kanto Plain, the southeast-flowing Ara River constituting the western boundary of the municipality.