Controversy Erupts Over Proposed Name for New National Park in Hokkaido

Hokkaido's Hidakasanmyaku-Erimo Quasi-National Park to become a national park, but the proposed name sparks a heated debate between tourism and conservation groups, highlighting the challenge of balancing development and environmental protection.

Muhammad Jawad
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Controversy Erupts Over Proposed Name for New National Park in Hokkaido

Controversy Erupts Over Proposed Name for New National Park in Hokkaido

The Hidakasanmyaku-Erimo Quasi-National Park in Hokkaido, Japan, is set to be upgraded to a national park in the summer of 2024. However, the proposed name for the new park, 'Hidakasanmyaku Erimo Tokachi National Park', has sparked a heated debate between tourism promotion and nature conservation groups.

The Environment Ministry put forward the suggestion to include the word 'Tokachi' in the new name, following requests from municipal governments in the Tokachi region who aim to boost tourism. This proposal has faced strong opposition from a local nature conservation association and other concerned parties, who argue that the Tokachi region is distinct from the Hidaka-sanmyaku mountain range and that the primary focus should be on safeguarding the natural environment.

The dispute highlights the tension between the ministry's objective of promoting both nature preservation and tourism in a balanced manner, and the concerns of conservation groups who fear that the original purpose of prioritizing nature conservation may be overlooked. "The priority should be on preserving the natural environment," stated a representative from the local nature conservation association.

Why this matters:

The proposed name is expected to be submitted to the environment minister in May 2024, with a final decision to be made thereafter. As the debate continues, interested parties on both sides eagerly await the resolution of this contentious issue, which will shape the future of the Hidakasanmyaku-Erimo Quasi-National Park and its surrounding communities.

Key Takeaways

  • Hidakasanmyaku-Erimo Quasi-National Park in Hokkaido to become national park in 2024.
  • Proposed name 'Hidakasanmyaku Erimo Tokachi National Park' sparks debate between tourism and conservation.
  • Environment Ministry wants to include 'Tokachi' to boost tourism, opposed by nature conservation groups.
  • Debate highlights tension between promoting tourism and prioritizing nature conservation.
  • Final decision on park name expected in May 2024, will set precedent for future protected areas.