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About 5,500,000 live on the island. It is north of Honshu. It is the second largest Japanese island. It has a humid continental climate (Dfa/Dfb in the Köppen climate classification) with cold snowy winters and warm to hot summers.
Agriculture is an important part of the island's economy.
- Library of Congress Country Studies, Japan (LOC), "Geographic Regions, Hokkaido"; retrieved 2012-2-13.
- Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Hokkaido Prefecture, Regional Information Archived 2013-01-27 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-4-6.
- Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2002). "Hokkaido" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 343.
- Nussbaum, "Geography" at p. 242.