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Niigata City



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Greetings from the Mayor

Mayor's phot

Welcome to the City of Niigata's Home Page.

Niigata City has long prospered as a port town, and is proud of its history as one of the first
five ports (along with Hakodate, Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagasaki) to be opened to outside
trade in the Meiji Period.
Subsequently, due to its close proximity to Japan’s neighbouring countries, the City of Niigata
(pop. 810,000) has developed as a key international port on the Sea of Japan coast, and in
April 2007 Niigata became the first ordinance-designated city on the Sea of Japan side of Honshu.
The City of Niigata is both an urban hub and a key agricultural city, boasting the greatest
rice paddy acreage of any city in Japan. The city is known as the “Food Kingdom” because of the
delicious local food – especially rice – produced in its rich natural surroundings.
In October 2010, when Niigata hosted the first APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Ministerial
Meeting on Food Security, representatives from 21 different countries and regions throughout the
Asia-Pacific area and 7 related organizations travelled to Niigata to attend. In addition
to drawing international attention to Niigata's food and farming culture, the event also enhanced
Niigata's status as a city for international conventions.
Another important feature of Niigata is the presence of two large rivers that define the geographical
landscape.
Both the Shinnano River, which is Japan’s largest river in terms of length and volume,
and the Agano River, which is the second largest river in Japan in terms of water volume,
have nurtured Niigata’s growth over the centuries.
Niigata's culture of water and land is rooted in the vast amounts of water and rich soil carried
by these two great rivers.
Because of the important role that water has played in Niigata’s development, the City of Niigata
hosts the Water and Land Art Festival in order to pass on the culture of water and land to future
generations; the festival is widely publicized both in Japan and overseas.

The City of Niigata is a place where the natural environment, traditional culture and an advanced
urban hub co-exist in harmony.
One can get a glimpse of Niigata by viewing the photographs and videos on our home page.
I hope that this website will both provide visitors to Niigata with useful information, and give
people who are unfamiliar with Niigata an opportunity to take an interest in the city.

Akira Shinoda
Mayor of Niigata

What is a Government Of Ordinance-Designated City?

According to the Local Government Law, a government ordinance-designated city is "a city
designated by government ordinance, with a population of over half million." As a designated city ,
Niigata City has powers similar to those of Niigata Prefecture.
The city is able to carry out administrative services more effectively. Previously , there were 15
designated cities: Sapporo , Sendai , Saitama , Chiba , Kawasaki , Yokohama , Shizuoka , Nagoya
, Kyoto , Osaka , Sakai , Kobe , Hiroshima , Kitakyushu , and Fukuoka. In April 2007 , Niigata and
Hamamatsu were added, bringing the number to 17 cities. As a designated city, Niigata will dramatically
raise its profile nationally and internationally. The exchange and accumulation of people , goods ,
and information will move ahead, and the city can look forward to further growth.

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