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northernmost ken (prefecture) on the island of Honshu, Japan. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean (east), the Tsugaru Strait (north), and the Sea of Japan (west). The peninsulas of Tsugaru and Shimokita enclose Mutsu Bay. Aomori has a relatively poor agricultural economy that is handicapped by long, cold, snowy winters and poor drainage. Rice and Japan's largest apple crop are grown in the west, while the east specializes in dry grains and potatoes. Horse breeding for military use has long given way to beef cattle and dairy farming. Most large-scale manufacturing is found in Hachinohe, in the southeast. In the mountainous interior are some of Japan's finest timber stands, mostly in national forests. Coastal and deep-sea fishing operations centre on Hachinohe, the leading fishing port, and Aomori. Area 3,714 square miles (9,619 square km). Pop. (2000) 1,475,728.