Population (2020 census): 216,378
Ethnic Composition (unofficial*): 91.9% Japanese, 4.2% Korean, 1.8% Philippino, 0.8% Chinese, 0.6% Other Asian, 0.4% South American, 0.2% Black African, 0.1% White European
Major Industries: Manufacturing (machine parts, pharmaceuticals, military hardware, nanotechnology, biotechnology), tourism, fishing
Mayor: Shimoyamada Yonosuke (New Komeito)
Notable Sites: Samukawa Jinja (the most important shinto shrine in the region) is situated to the north in Samukawa town; the Southern Beach is, along with Kugenuma-kaigan, famous as the birthplace of surfing in Japan.
Chigasaki was a seaside resort town from the time of the Shogunate; in fact the Tokugawa family long maintained summer residences in the area, taking advantage of the warm waters of Sagami Bay and glorious views of Mount Fuji.
After the Second World War, particular after the 1960s, Chigasaki began to achieve fame for surfing, and is widely known as the place where the sport first became popular in Japan. It gained a reputation as a playground for young Tokyo-ites and a desirable residence for the nation's burgeoning nouveau-riche.
During the Daikonran Chigasaki escaped severe damage, although it was the scene of several riots between supporters of the New Komeito party and various fascist and communist groups. After the onset of the war in 2020 the city underwent further industrialisation (which had hitherto been light), concentrating on producing machine parts for military vehicles, and high-tech components for biological and nanotech weapons.
Both the Hitotsuyanagi and Hoshino conglomerates have a strong presence in Chigasaki, making it a front line in the corporate cold war between the two groups. Kimura Seimei, one of Hitotsuyanagi's flagship companies, has its Kanto headquarters in the north of the city; other Hitotsuyanagi group corporations with plants there include the biotech research company Murada Bio and the rocket manufacturer NRC. Hoshino group companies in the city specialise in pharmaceuticals and machine parts.
The war between Hitotsuyanagi and Hoshino occasionally turns hot, as when a car bomb near Kita-Chigasaki Station killed three civilians and an executive officer for Kimura Seimei in December 2027.
Kanagawa prefecture has had large, longstanding Korean and Chinese populations, both with histories stretching back to before the Second World War. The city has also relied on immigrants from the Philippines, Indonesia and South America to support its industry since the 1990s. Post 2016 and the institution of the new regime saw increased immigration also from Africa and Eastern Europe.
Organised crime groups in the city include the yakuza clans Kawabata-gumi, Tsurugaoka-kai and Ota-kai. As is traditional, the membership of these clans is international in character, with up to 50% of the membership being of Korean-Japanese, Chinese-Japanese or Philippino-Japanese origin - obviously as a result of the limited economic opportunities offered these groups. Chinese Triad gangs also have a presence in the city, notably the 14k group; there is a constant low-level war between it and the yakuza clans.
Economic activities carried out by these groups include prostitution, pachinko, pornography and tobacco and firearms smuggling - primarily from the Occupied Regions. Drug-running remains a lesser concern.
Chigasaki is a centre for illegal whaling and fishing for endangered species of shellfish. This is a longstanding issue which various city governments have attempted to resolve, sometimes through force and other times through incentivising; none have been successful. It is a widely acknowledged truth that police corruption is mostly responsible for the failures.
Chigasaki is also a staging point for ferries to the Izu-Shoto Autonomous Economic Region, since the creation of a new harbour in 2019. Ferries are available for employees in AER-based companies only, and security in the area is strictly enforced. Human rights abuses, including summary beatings and imprisonment without trial of 'trespassers', are frequently attributed to corporate security around the harbour area.
*The Japanese government does not collate data on ethnic composition in its census.