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Overview of Kumamoto City

@GeographyE Climate
 Kumamoto City is blessed with an abundance of water and greenery. It is a city rich in tradition and culture. Kumamoto City is situated in the middle of Kyushu island at a latitude of 32 (48 North) and longitude of 130 (42 East) in the northwest part of Kumamoto prefecture. It is located on the Kumamoto Plain which spreads from the outskirts of Mt. Aso (home to the largest caldera in the world) to the Ariake Sea.
 Kumamoto City's geological make-up features layers of rock which trap groundwater. This type of geological underground structure is called a chikasuibon, or an aquifer.
 Kumamoto has an inland-basin climate and temperature changes can be drastic. The average annual temperature is 17.4 and the average annual precipitation is 1,543mm. Winters are mild and snow is rare. June marks the beginning of the rainy season and summers are very hot and humid.

@History
For ages, Kumamoto has been called Hinokuni, or gThe Land of Fire".  About 1,300 years ago, during the Nara Period, the Japanese government established a regional government known as kokufu in Kumamoto, under which a village was formed. Later, in 1607, Lord Kiyomasa Kato built Kumamoto Castle and a town formed around it.  In 1877, during the Satsuma Rebellion, most of central Kumamoto was burned to the ground.  In 1889, the municipal organization system was developed and Kumamoto City was born. Since then, Kumamoto City has developed into one of the political, economic and educational centers of Kyushu. In April 1996, the Home Affairs Ministry appointed Kumamoto City as a core self-administrative city which allows it to have more administrative powers.  Kumamoto City has since merged with Tomiai-machi in October 2008 and Ueki-machi and Jonan-machi in March 2009.  With a population of about 730,000 and a metro population of 1 million, Kumamoto City has continued to develop as a hub city in central Kyusyu.

@PopulationE Area
Population: 670,945 (as of October 1st 2003)
Area: 267.06 square kilometers

@City TreeE City FlowerE City Bird
City Tree: Ginkgo
City Flower: Higo Camellia
City Bird: Tit Mouse

@Friendship/Sister Cities around the World
Guilin (China): Friendship city agreement initiated in October 1979
          Population: About 4,800,000
          Area: 27,800 square kilometers
San Antonio (U.S.A.): Sister city agreement initiated in December1987
          Population: About 1,192,000
          Area: 1,080 square kilometers  
Heidelberg (Germany): Friendship city agreement initiated in May 1992
          Population: About 139,000
          Area: 109 square kilometers  
Fukui (Japan): Sister city agreement initiated in November 1994
          Population: About 254,000
          Area: 340 square kilometers  
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