Location of Omitama in Ibaraki
|• Mayor||Jyoichi Shimada (since May 2006)|
|• Total||140.21 km2 (54.14 sq mi)|
|Population (March 1, 2012)|
|• Density||375.36/km2 (972.2/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Tree||Zelkova serrata|
|Address||Katakura 835, Omitama City, Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県小美玉市堅倉835番地)
|Website||City of Omitama|
The modern city of Omitama was established on March 27, 2006, from the merger of the towns of Ogawa and Minori (both from Higashiibaraki District), and the village of Tamari (from Niihari District). The new city takes its name from a merger of the three older town and village names from which it is formed, Ogawa, Minori, Tamari.
The towns merged under the Municipal Mergers Special Measures Law which expired on March 31, 2005. The law was designed to encourage smaller towns and villages, (often burdened with debt) to merge with their neighbors to create more efficient local government structures and school districts. Some of the smallest municipalities in Japan had as few as 200 residents and were bureaucratically inefficient.
The neighboring city of Ishioka was initially involved in the merger talks, however, Ishioka's demands for naming rights and its extremely high debt levels led to Ogawa, Tamari and Minori continuing the talks without the city and forming their own municipality. Ishioka later merged with Yasato in October 2005, and the combined area of Yasato and Ishioka is now called Ishioka City.
Hyakuri Airfield, a Japan Air Self-Defense Force base, is located in Omitama. A new civil-aviation airport with domestic service to Naha, Fukuoka, Osaka, and Sapporo opened in March 2010 in the Ogawa section of Omitama.
The airfield will then be shared between the Air Self Defense Forces and the new airport. Ibaraki Airport is aimed at domestic and low cost international carriers. So far Asiana Airlines operates the only international route, with a daily flight to/from Incheon (Seoul) in South Korea.
Media related to Omitama, Ibaraki at Wikimedia Commons
- Omitama City official website (Japanese)
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