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Tuesday, 1st March 2016
In General Japan News,

Cat Island benefits from food aid

It is no secret that the Japanese are crazy about cats, so it comes as no surprise that the population has stepped in to help the felines living on Cat Island.

A plea was sent out via Twitter for food donations after the tiny island of Aoshima in southern Japan ran out of cat food.

The cats on this outcrop of land outnumber humans eight to one, gaining it an international reputation as Cat Island.

Kazuyuki Ono, a resident of the island, raised the alarm through social media and was completely overwhelmed by the response.

He told Agence France-Presse: “Food began pouring in from all over Japan. There’s so much of it now we can’t store it. We’re asking people to stop sending donations. But the cats couldn’t be happier.”

The first shipments of food arrived to help the feline inhabitants by February 22nd, which is officially designated at Cat Day in Japan

Many of the tourists that visit the island in the spring and summer months bring food with them to feed the feline inhabitants.

The problem is that the seas surrounding Aoshima can be particularly rough in the winter months, which keeps both visitors and supplies away.

Aoshima has grown into a cat paradise after felines were originally introduced to keep mice at bay, as they infested local fishing boats.

As the descendants of these original cats have multiplied, the number of human inhabitants has dropped from around 1,000 to just 16.

With no predators, such as dogs and crowds present on the island, as well as a lack of cars and bikes, the cats flourish.

They are visited by tourists from all over the world, keen to see what a land celebrating these creatures looks like.

Just walking down the street, there are cats relaxing in the sun and purring happily.

Related news stories:
New island forming off Japan coast (21st November 2013)
Mount Shindake erupts on Kuchinoerabu Island (29th May 2015)
Japan and Russia continue island discussion (14th April 2010)