Name Boards of Two Unmanned Stations in Hokkaidō Stolen (News)
Sapporo, Sept. 14 (Jiji Press)—The name boards of two unmanned stations in Hokkaidō, northernmost Japan, that are popular among railway enthusiasts as secluded stations, have been stolen.
The host town of Horonobe in northern Hokkaidō has used the two stations—Onoppunai and Toikanbetsu on the Sōya Line of Hokkaidō Railway Co., or JR Hokkaidō—for regional revitalization.
"It's a shame since the station signs are precious and valuable," a town official said, urging the culprit to return them "even if in secret." JR Hokkaidō has reported the theft to the prefectural police.
The station signs, which are 20 centimeters wide and one meter long, were secured to utility poles on the platforms of the stations with screws, according to the police. The theft was discovered during a Friday patrol.
JR Hokkaidō statistics show that no more than one passenger passes through Onoppunai Station daily, and 10 or less at Toikanbetsu Station. The company is struggling to maintain the Sōya Line from Nayoro Station to the end of the line at Wakkanai.
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