Yūbari, Hokkaido

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Yūbari
夕張市
City
From top left: Yubari melon, Mount Yubari, Yubari River, Coal Mine Museum in Yubari, Yubari Melon Castle, Yubari Film Festival site
From top left: Yubari melon, Mount Yubari, Yubari River, Coal Mine Museum in Yubari, Yubari Melon Castle, Yubari Film Festival site
Flag of Yūbari
Flag
Location of Yūbari in Hokkaido (Sorachi Subprefecture)
Location of Yūbari in Hokkaido (Sorachi Subprefecture)
Yūbari is located in Japan
Yūbari
Yūbari
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 43°3′N 141°58′E / 43.050°N 141.967°E / 43.050; 141.967Coordinates: 43°3′N 141°58′E / 43.050°N 141.967°E / 43.050; 141.967
Country Japan
Region Hokkaido
Prefecture Hokkaido (Sorachi Subprefecture)
Government
 • Mayor Naomichi Suzuki (since May 2011)
Area
 • Total 763.20 km2 (294.67 sq mi)
Population (June 30, 2013)
 • Total 9,962
 • Density 13.0/km2 (34/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Symbols
- Tree Sakura
- Flower Azalea
Address 4-2 Honchō, Yūbari-shi, Hokkaido
068-0492
Phone number 0123-52-3131
Website www.city.yubari.lg.jp

Yūbari (夕張市 Yūbari-shi?) is a city located in Sorachi Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan.

As of March 31, 2012, the city has an estimated population of 10,471, with 5,789 households.[1] The total area is 763.20 km². Hemmed in by mountains Yūbari stretches for 25 kilometers along a mountain valley.

The city is famous for the Yubari Melon and the Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, which skipped a show in 2006 due to the city's financial crisis.

History[edit]

The city was founded on April 1, 1943 as a coal mining town. When the mines were operating Yūbari had as many as 120,000 people. With the closing of the mines in the 1980s, an attempt was made to convert the economic base to tourism. Subsidies were obtained from the central government and huge debts incurred for the building of tourist attractions, but few visitors came. In 2007 the city was in the news due to bankruptcy and the refusal of the national government to bail it out. City services had been severely cut and its white elephant amusement park and museums were up for sale.[2] The amusement park has begun to be demolished as of June 2008.[3]

Roughly half of Yūbari's government officials resigned in March 2007 as part of an attempt to streamline the local fiscal situation. The majority of officials stepping down who responded to a survey conducted by Mainichi Shimbun say they "feel no sense of responsibility" for the city's financial problems.[4]

Transport[edit]

The central train station is Yūbari Station on the Sekishō Line, operated by JR Hokkaido.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 住民基本台帳人口・世帯数 (Yubari city census data)
  2. ^ "Tokyo Cuts Aid, and Hinterland Withers in Japan", article by Norimitsu Onish in the New York Times, January 27, 2007
  3. ^ asahi.com: In Yubari, even less amusement now, June 6, 2008[dead link]
  4. ^ "Most high-ranking officials of bankrupt municipal gov't feel no sense of responsibility, Mainichi Daily News, March 7, 2007.[dead link]

Further reading[edit]

  • Kazama Kensuke. Kazama Kensuke shashinshū: Yūbari (風間健介写真集:夕張) / Kensuke Kazama Photographic Collection: Yubari. Sapporo: Jyuryousya, 2005. ISBN 4-902269-14-7. A collection of Kensuke Kazama's black-and-white photographs of Yūbari and its mines after their closure. All text and captions in both Japanese and English.
  • Toda Reiko. Yūbari tankōbushi (夕張炭坑節, Song of the Yūbari mines). Tokyo: Shobunsha, 1985. ISBN 4-7949-7009-9. Black-and-white photo documentary of the last five hundred days of mining in Yūbari, a period during which a disaster occurred.(Japanese)

External links[edit]