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Niigata(nē`gätä), city (1990 pop. 486,097), capital of Niigata prefecture, N Honshu, Japan, on the Sea of Japan at the mouth of the Shinano River. It is the main port for the west coast of Honshu and an important point for oil storage and the importing of liquid natural gas. Niigata's manufactures include iron molds, Buddhist altars, lacquerware, and sake. The city is traversed by many canals and is the site of one of the largest flower farms in East Asia. Niigata was opened to foreign trade in 1869. Niigata prefecture (1990 pop. 2,474,602), 4,856 sq mi (12,577 sq km), yields rice, petroleum, gold, silver, machinery, raw silk, and farm products.
a Japanese prefecture located on Honshu Island, facing the Sea of Japan. Area, 12,600 sq km, including Sado Island. Population, 2,355,000 (1973), over one-half of which is urban. The capital is Niigata.
The topography is mainly mountainous and hilly; about one-fourth of Niigata Prefecture is taken up by the Echigo plain. Forests, mainly deciduous, cover 65 percent of the area. Niigata Prefecture leads the country in the extraction of petroleum, accounting for 80 percent of total Japanese output. The Akatani mines make it third in the mining of iron ore; and there are lead and gold deposits. The most developed industries are the chemical industry, which provides 60 percent of the calcium cyanamide produced in the country; the textile industry, which produces synthetic fibers; oil refining; machine building, including internal-combustion engines, rolling stock, and machine tools; and metallurgy.
Niigata Prefecture is one of Japan’s major rice-producing regions, with a harvest of 887,000 tons in 1970. There are large-scale land reclamation projects. Local agriculture also includes vegetable growing (beans, radishes, and tomatoes), melon cultivation (watermelons), and floriculture (tulips). Fishing and whaling are carried on, and carp are raised for aquariums. Lumber is also produced. National parks in the mountains and health resorts located at mineral springs attract tourists to Niigata Prefecture.
N. A. SMIRNOV
a city in Japan, located on the western shore of Honshu Island, at the mouth of the Shinano River; the capital of Niigata Prefecture. Population, 384,000 (1973). Niigata is a major seaport with a 1969 freight turnover of 13 million tons. The city is an oil producing and refining center, with a petrochemicals industry. Other local industries include metallurgy (ferroalloys, aluminum), electrical and transportation machine building, textiles (silk, synthetic fibers), lumber cutting, paper, and cement. The city has a university. Large-scale hothouse cultivation is carried on. There are regular sea communications between Niigata and the port of Nakhodka in the USSR.