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Nickname of Civilian Airport at Iwakuni Air Station, "Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport," Chosen from among 4,000 Submissions

Nickname of Civilian Airport at Iwakuni Air Station,

Kintaikyo Bridge. Copyright © Free Software Foundation, Inc.

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On December 8, a nickname was chosen for Iwakuni Air Station in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture: "Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport." The airport will transition to joint control with the military and reopen as a civilian airport during FY2012.

The Iwakuni Air Station Civilian Airport Promotion Committee, a group formed by the City of Iwakuni and local tourism organizations, made a general call to the public in October and November and has now selected the "Grand Prize." According to the committee, there were 3,995 submissions with 1,700 different ideas, the most popular of which was "Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport." Kintaikyo is an arched wooden bridge that spans the city's Nishiki River and is a place of scenic beauty.

Commenting on the decision, Iwakuni Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda said, "We selected this name because it is easy to remember, it is endearing, and it will appeal to everyone in Japan."

Over 20 airports in Japan have used nicknames submitted by the public to create a friendlier image and promote local areas. The approach has garnered attention, though some have questioned whether it is effective.

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