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Kushiro, Hokkaidō

Administration
JapaneseName釧路
Settlement typeCity
CountryJapan
RegionHokkaidō
PrefectureHokkaidō (Kushiro)
Government
MayorYoshitaka Itō
Geography
Total Area526 sq mi (1362.75 km2)
Demography
Total Population183757 (August 31, 2011)
Density (pop.)140/km2 (362.6/sq mi)
Other information
Time zoneJapan Standard Time (UTC+9)

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|} is a city located in Kushiro, Hokkaidō, Japan. It is the capital city of Kushiro Subprefecture, as well as the most populous city in eastern Hokkaidō.

Historically Kushiro has been an important port because it is more reliably ice-free during winter than alternative Russian Far East warm-water ports such as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky or other ports in Hokkaidō such as Hakodate, which occasionally do freeze for short periods due to the lower salinity of the Sea of Japan. For this reason, Kushiro was considered a valuable target for the Tsars during the Russo-Japanese Wars, but it only became a really important port during the 1920s with the growth of commercial fishing, for which its reliable freedom from ice reduced costs.

On October 11, 2005 the town of Akan, from Akan District, and the town of Onbetsu, from Shiranuka District, was merged into Kushiro.

In 2008 the city had an estimated population of 189,539 and a total area of 1,362.75 km2, giving a population density of 140 persons per km2.

Kushiro has the Kushiro Airport.

Kushiro was accorded city status on 1 August 1922.

It is the sister city of Burnaby, British Columbia, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia, and Kholmsk, Russia.


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