Minamata, Kumamoto
is a city
Cities of Japan
||A is a local administrative unit in Japan. Cities are ranked on the same level as and , with the difference that they are not a component of...

 located in Kumamoto prefecture
Kumamoto Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyushu Island. The capital is the city of Kumamoto.- History :Historically the area was called Higo Province; and the province was renamed Kumamoto during the Meiji Restoration. The creation of prefectures was part of the abolition of the feudal system...

, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. It is on the west coast of Kyūshū
is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. Its alternate ancient names include , , and . The historical regional name is referred to Kyushu and its surrounding islands....

. The city was founded on April 1, 1949.

As of 2008, the city has an estimated population
A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals...

 of 27,856 and the density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 of 171 persons per km². The total area is 162.88 km².

It is the birthplace of Princess Princess
Princess Princess
Princess Princess may refer to:*Princess Princess - Japanese girl rock band*Princess Princess - Anime and manga series*Princess-Princess , a character from the webcomic Sluggy Freelance...

 bass player Atsuko Watanabe - October 26, 1964.

Minamata environmental disaster

The city is best known as the former site of an environmental disaster
Environmental disaster
An environmental disaster is a disaster to the natural environment due to human activity. It should not be confused with the separate concept of a natural disaster.-History:...

 caused by industrial pollution of the bay with mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

; see Minamata disease
Minamata disease
', sometimes referred to as , is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. Symptoms include ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, narrowing of the field of vision and damage to hearing and speech. In extreme cases, insanity, paralysis, coma, and death...


Sister cities

Minamata has a formal sister city agreement with Devonport in Tasmania, Australia. This was ratified in 1996. Devonport
Devonport, Tasmania
-Sport:The Devonport Football Club is an Australian Rules team competing in the Tasmanian Statewide League. The Devonport Rugby Club is a Rugby Union team competing in the Tasmanian Rugby Union Statewide League...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 (1996) Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

External links

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