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prefecture (ken), northwestern Shikoku, Japan, facing the Inland Sea (north) and Bungo-suido (Bungo Strait; west). It occupies an area of 2,190 square miles (5,672 square km). The interior is mountainous, and most of the population is grouped on the shallow coastal plains. Crops grown on terraced farmland include rice, wheat, tea, soybeans, and mandarin oranges. The cities of Niihama, Saijo, Hashihama, and Imabari are industrial centres. In an effort to counteract air pollution, chemical factories were established in Niihama to produce fertilizer from sulfur dioxide gas emitted from the copper refineries. Fishing and forestry support Uwajima and other west coast cities. The prefectural capital of Matsuyama (q.v.) is Shikoku's largest city, and Ehime University (1949) is located there. Pop. (1990) 1,515,027.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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