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The city was founded on November 3, 1954.
On March 1, 2004, Ryōtsu, along with the rest of Sado Island (the towns of Aikawa, Kanai, Sawata, Hatano, Mano, Hamochi and Ogi, and the villages of Niibo and Akadomari (all from Sado District)), was merged to create the city of Sado.
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