Hokkaido town refuses to pay bear patrol hunting club as animals spotted on streets, at harbor
Japan Today -- Sep 26
Japan has very little in the way of dangerous wildlife, meaning that you’re about as unlikely to be a victim of a violence in rural areas as you are in the country’s famously safe cities. However, Hokkaido is home to a sizable bear population.

When bears are spotted in populated areas where their presence is considered a danger to residents, towns will often enlist the help of a local hunting enthusiast club to trap or exterminate the animals. So when there was a bear sighting in the Hokkaido town of Shimammaki on the night of Sept 20 at around 9:30, and then another sighting a few hours later at the town’s port where a bear was ransacking unattended fishing boats for food, residents expected hunters, sporting their distinctive orange vests and caps, to arrive on the scene.

However, no hunters came, and instead it was only the regular police who responded to the reports. It turns out the city is in the middle of a dispute with the hunting organization over how much the hunters should be compensated.

Ordinarily, each hunter is to be paid 30,000 yen per dispatch. Since the end of July, Shimamaki’s total tab for bear-related dispatches and associated fees has grown to 11.56 million yen, but the city council has no authorized the release of the funds.

News source: Japan Today
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