edlee_swornin.jpgSan Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi are going door-to-door in Japantown today to talk to merchants and community leaders about the neighborhood’s future.

San Francisco’s Japantown is the oldest in the U.S. and one of only three left in the country, Mirkarimi said.

The neighborhood “has some of us concerned about its future,” he said. “It’s a wonderful commercial area that needs assistance in modernizing,” such as renovating and seismically retrofitting various buildings.

Mirkarimi said many businesses in the neighborhood, located roughly between Sutter Street and Geary Boulevard from Fillmore Street to Laguna Street, “are struggling in today’s economy.”

The supervisor and mayor will be going door-to-door to talk about what assistance merchants might need “to make sure it’s a thriving business community,” Mirkarimi said.

Japantown celebrated its centennial in 2006, and Mirkarimi said the city “will do everything we can to make sure it’s around for another centennial.”

Lee and Mirkarimi will start meeting with merchants around noon.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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