“Akita Inu Tourism,” a Destination Management/Marketing Organization (DMO) formed by four municipalities including Odate City, Akita Prefecture, and One for Akita, a general incorporated association involved in Akita dog protection activities, have launched a website to collect donations for the protection of Akita dogs.
Akita Inu Tourism was established in 2016 and continually promotes the Akita region to increase the number of visitors from overseas by appealing to Akita dogs. One for Akita was established in 2018 with the goal of eliminating the killing of Akita dogs. The organization has been working to rescue and train Akita dogs and find suitable owners.
Kyosuke Shimada, assistant director of Akita Inu Tourism, expressed a sense of crisis, stating, “Akita dogs are a powerful resource in terms of tourism, but the number of dogs and the number of people keeping them are decreasing.”
As this year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the famous and loyal dog Hachiko, the DMO and One for Akita launched the website in hopes of saving the Akita dogs from the crisis with the help of Hachiko.
The website explains the current situation of Akita dogs in both Japanese and English. Donations can be made in amounts of 1,000 yen or more, and payments are available by credit card and bank transfer. Mr. Shimada said, “We want to make the activities of One for Akita widely known to people overseas. One of our activities of protecting the local culture that has nurtured Akita dogs will also lead to the protection of Akita dogs, so we ask for your cooperation.”