Minamata (水俣市, Minamata-shi) is a city located in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. It is on the west coast of Kyūshū and faces Amakusa islands. Minamata was established as a village in 1889, re-designated as a town in 1912 and grew into a city in 1949.As of March 2017, the city has an estimated population of 25,310 and a population density of 160 persons per km². The total area is 162.88 km².
Minamata is known due to Minamata disease, a neurological disorder caused by mercury poisoning. The disease was discovered in 1956. A local chemical plant was blamed for causing the disease by emitting untreated wastewater into Minamata Bay.
Lately, Minamata has focused on becoming a model environmental city. In 1999, the city obtained the ISO 14001 certification for Environmental Management. In 2001, Minamata became an official Japanese Eco-town. In 2004 and 2005, Minamata won the Japanese Top Eco-City contest.


Wikipedia, Blueballoon


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