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city, Fukuoka ken (prefecture), northern Kyushu, Japan, on the east coast of the Ariake-kai (Ariake Sea). Formerly a coal-mining centre, Omuta's activity declined after the 1960s with the conversion from coal to petroleum as fuel. Consequently, underground shafts were neglected, causing land subsidence, the submersion of farmland under the sea, and the destruction of dwellings. The government is providing assistance via public investments for the introduction of new factories. The artificial harbour has modern coal-handling facilities. Omuta has been an important industrial city since 1917, especially in the manufacture of chemicals. Other industries produce coke, zinc, ferroalloys, steel, fireproof brick, cotton, seaweed products, and synthetic petroleum. Pop. (2005) 131,090.