• Hokkaido Shimbun

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Three years have passed since a massive earthquake struck Hokkaido’s eastern Iburi region, killing 44 people, but some hard-hit areas are still suffering from the aftermath of the disaster in the form of depopulation.

There are four districts in the town of Atsuma — Takaoka, Tomisato, Yoshino, and Horonai — where a total of 29 people died due to landslides and other causes. Yet there is growing concern that these scarcely populated towns may disappear as their aging communities pass away.

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