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Hokkaido Economy

The Hokkaido native horse is commonly known by the name "Dosanko."“dosanko” is a word widely used to indicate “a person from Hokkaido,” “born in Hokkaido,” or “something made in Hokkaido,” but it is said that this interpretation of the word came from the common name of this slightly small horse. It is believed that in older times there were no horses in Hokkaido. As the economic interchange between Hokkaido and Honshu started to develop around 1600, and as the economy of Hokkaido started to grow, the Nanbu horse, which is the native horse of the Tohoku area of Honshu, entered Hokkaido.

Although there is some light industry (most notably paper milling, beer brewing) most of the population is employed by the service sector. In 2001, the service sector and other tertiary industries generated more than three quarters of the gross domestic product.

However, agriculture and other primary industries play a large role in Hokkaido's economy. Hokkaido has nearly one fourth of Japan's total arable land. It ranks first in the nation in the production of a host of agricultural products, including wheat, soybeans, potatoes, sugar beet, onions, pumpkins, corn, raw milk, and beef. Hokkaido also accounts for 22% of Japan's forests with a sizable timber industry. The prefecture is also first in the nation in production of marine products and aquaculture.

Tourism is an important industry, especially during the cool summertime when visitors are attracted to Hokkaido's open spaces from hotter and more humid parts of Japan. During the winter, skiing and other winter sports bring other tourists, and increasingly international ones, to the island
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