Koza committee studies reactivating shopping mall

An examination committee established by the Koza Credit Association is now consolidating specific measures covering a variety of categories to determine if it is feasible to support reactivating Okinawa City’s two shopping malls.

The committee has consolidated specific measures in seven categories, including reform willingness of shop owners, solutions to problems of empty shops, and establishment of Eisa Assembly Hall.  The proposals were made public last week, with details based on questionnaires to people who use of the shopping mall, and investigation of adjacent areas.

The committee began its work last October, trying to determine how much support there is for shopping malls in the Okinawa City Goya district, including the Ichibangai Shopping Mall and Sun City Shopping Mall.  Questionnaires went to visitors, owners and dealers, asking questions of the shopping mall’s present condition.  Questions targeted different categories of people, including women over 40 years of age.  Sought was information about mall walking, daily necessities shopping, and what people were looking for.

A “One shop – One specialty Campaign” is being conducted by the Okinawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  Other actions include changes of business, discontinuance of businesses for those wanting to close their shops, and reform programs for owners that seek to relocate.  Okinawa City Mayor, Mitsuko Tomon, and Naohiko Arakaki, president of the Okinawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, made the presentation on the ideas and concepts for reactivating the mall.

The Chief Director of Koza Credit Association, Yoshimasa Uema, encouraged people “it is wrong if you think the shopping mall is activated because the mall’s arcade became bigger.  We expect,” he says, “that the shopping malls are reborn as fascinating for customers, and not to compete with large supermarkets.  We are not sparing support and cooperation for activation.”  Mayor Toman says “If we cannot activate this central urban area at this opportunity, we will lose our chance.  Let’s recreate our shopping malls as locations area residents will appreciate and love.”