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Hokkaido wind farms get tailwind as tides shift for fisheries

Coastal towns receptive to offshore projects as fish catches slide

There are high hopes on the northernmost main Japanese island of Hokkaido that offshore wind farms will benefit struggling fishing communities. (Photo courtesy of MHI Vestas)

SAPPORO, Japan -- Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan's four main islands, has seen the launch of a string of offshore wind farm projects, as fishing communities hit by declining catches look for other ways to earn a livelihood.

Hokkaido, surrounded by the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean, has great potential for offshore wind power. But it has been slower off the mark than other Japanese prefectures, including Nagasaki, Akita and Chiba.

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