The northernmost and second largest of Japan's four main islands. Unlike the rest of Japan, the climate is markedly colder and drier. After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the new government placed great emphasis on Hokkaido's economic development, Hokkaido is known for its large-scale American-style produce and livestock farms and its fishing industry that flourishes from the abundant resources of the seas surrounding the island. Pop.: approx. 5,708,000 (2001).