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ARTS, CULTURE and HERITAGE> Our Sister City, Shiraoi

Shiraoi, Japan

Shiraoi is located on the Pacific Ocean in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s large islands. The city has a population of 20,000 which is distributed over several distinct areas within the townsite. It was originally a centre for Ainu culture, the original inhabitants who were conquered by the Japanese about 150 years ago. The town was established in 1856 by the shogunate to protect Hokkaido from invasion from foreign countries. In 1954 it became a municipality with an elected system of government established.

Shiraoi's city symbol shows the green of the land and the blue of the ocean and sky. Certainly by Japanese standards, it is very rural. It has several large cattle ranches and is well known for its production of Japanese cattle. As well, fishing and the growing of shiitake mushrooms are important industries. The primary industry is the Daishowa paper mill which employs many people. A new harbour facility will improve the city’s transportation facilities.

Shiraoi prides itself on being a city where people of all ages can lead a healthy life. They have recently built a new facility for the elderly and have many sporting facilities. They are trying to build an ideal environment in which their citizens can lead a safe and comfortable life. Their town slogan summarizes their philosophy: "The City of positive thinking, advancement of culture and promotion of an active lifestyle."

Quesnel is proud to have a Quesnel Shiraoi Twinning Society, made up of several dedicated volunteers. For more information about the Society or to book the facility, please visit their website by clicking here or contact Brad Powell at 250-992-3219 (t).

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