Prefecture seen huge benefits in returning base lands
The Department of Planning of the Okinawa Prefectural Government recently released an estimate of economic effects of the return the U.S. military bases on Okinawa.
According to the report, the direct economic effect of the eventual return of the MCAS Futenma would be 32 times the current rental income of ¥12 billion, or a total ¥386.6 billion. The employment would increase from the current 1,074 people who work on the base to 34,093 people. The tax income to Ginowan City would be estimated ¥43 billion.
The report points out that in Kuwae and Kitamae, in Chatan Town, where the base lands already have been returned to the owners, the estimated economic effect has been 108 times more than the rental income before the retrocession.
The economic effect of the Shintoshin area in Naha, has reached ¥163.4 billion, up from ¥5.2 billion, meaning 32 times more than before.
An official at the Prefectural Office, who took part in the study, says, “Promoting the site after the base is closed will generate huge economic effects. So it’s important to prepare a concrete plan for prompt return of the base, and the speedy utilization of the area after the land has been returned.”