Consumers Snap Up Hokkaido Specialties to Help Rebuilding

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Sept. 11 (Jiji Press)--Japanese consumers are rushing to stores selling specialties from the quake-damaged northern Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, hoping to help rebuild the region.

Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward was forced to close for two days after the powerful earthquake rocked the prefecture in the small hours of Thursday.

The temporary halt was due to an electricity outage in Sapporo, Hokkaido's capital, to which the store's cash register system is connected, according to Yoshiyuki Takashima, 45, deputy head of the store.

After the store reopened on Saturday, local specialties, such as soft-serve ice cream using melons grown in the Hokkaido city of Yubari, sold well. Sales on Saturday and Sunday were 20 to 30 pct higher than usual.

"We're thankful for the warmth of people in areas around Tokyo, far away from Hokkaido," said Takashima, who has his family house in Chitose, where the quake measured lower 6, the third-highest level, on the Japanese seismic intensity scale.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press