Odate City sent an Akita puppy to Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture on April 30, 2021. Minamisoma City requested help to prevent crop damage caused by wild animals like boars, which has increased since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011. The puppy will work together with other dogs to keep harmful animals away. The dogs can help do this with their sheer presence and by marking their territory.
The puppy’s name is Daima, a two-month-old male Akita dog with red fawn hair. Mr. Monma Kazuo, Mayor of Minamisoma City, visited Odate City Hall to welcome him. Daima was raised by Mr. Hatakeyama Shoji living in Hinai-cho of Odate City. Odate City Mayor Fukuhara Junji named Daima after the name of each city. Mr. Suzuki Nobuo, head of the Fukushima Versatile Dog Breeders Association, will take the lead in making Daima learn how to patrol by training with other dogs.
Mayor Monma discussed the current situation in Odaka Ward, Minamisoma City, where the number of residents has decreased to less than one-third of what it was before the Great East Japan Earthquake. Furthermore, the “aging population ratio,” or people aged 65 years and older, make up 50% of the demographics in Odaka Ward. Mayor Monma said, “It is hard for the residents to safeguard their homes by themselves. We will take good care of Daima so that he can help protect the community. We also wish that he becomes a symbol of friendship and further communication between the two cities.”