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Backgrounder: Toyako, venue for 2008 G8 summit
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13:08, July 06, 2008

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The Group of Eight (G8) summit is scheduled to take place on July 7-9 at Toyako resort area in Hokkaido, Japan. The following is a brief introduction to Toyako.

Located in the southeast of Hokkaido, Toyako constitutes part of Shikotsu-Toya National Park. The wonderful landscape is one of the three grand views of Hokkaido.

The word Toyako, meaning "the lake on the hill," comes from the language of the indigenous Ainu people.

Toyako, a round-shaped crater lake created by volcanism some 100,000 years ago, is the third largest caldera lake in Japan, following Kussaroko and Shikotsuko in Hokkaido. Surrounded by Sakhalin firs, Ezo spruces and many other trees, it is home to numerous species of flora and fauna.

With an area of 70.7 square km and maximum depth of 179 meters, Toyako is an ice-free lake in the northernmost part of Japan.

The rural area at the southern shore was raised by the eruption of the adjacent Mt Usu between 1943 and 1945, creating the Showa Shinzan lava dome.

With volcanoes of Mt Usu and Mt Showashinzan nearby, the Toyako Hot Spring area at the lakeside is one of Japan's most famous hot spring resorts, attracting 4 million tourists each year.

The Windsor Hotel Toya, the venue for the G8 summit, is located atop a mountain overlooking Toyako. The G8 heads of state will convene there to discuss a wide range of issues, including climate change, hikes in the prices of food, fuel and other commodities and African development.

Source: Xinhua

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