From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2001:
YOKOHAMA, Japan–Horri-fied to learn that hunters had begun visiting Enoshima Island, a popular recreational site off Yokohama, Japan, to shoot feral cats, Kamakura resident Toshiko Matsumoto in February and March raised enough money from other island visitors to spay 165 cats. The island has become a popular place to abandon unwanted cats because in most of Japan there are no shelters which offer animals either a reasonable chance of adoption or quality longterm care.
Explained Ark Animal Refuge Kansai founder Elizabeth Oliver, in a recent e-mail to ANIMAL PEOPLE, “There is no public office dealing with the protection or welfare of animals. Hokenshoes, as the offices of Public Health and Hygiene are called, run kanri centers, or pounds, for catching and exterminating stray animals. Although the kanri centers employ token veterinarians to sit in their offices, they in practice do not handle the animals, let alone treat the sick and injured or euthanize the suffering. The job of killing is subcontracted to outside companies that make money on the side selling animals to laboratories for experiments, or selling the meat and hides.