USJ sees no future for its theme park on Okinawa
Universal Studios Japan is reportedly leaning towards scrapping the plan to build a theme park in Motobu, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The plan that was advocated by the former USJ CEO Glenn Gumpel, and strongly backed by Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga and the central government in Tokyo, was taken under new scrutiny after Comcast Corp. purchased the majority of shares in the USJ. Apparently, the new parent company is not convinced that the investment would be able to attract enough visitors to make money.
Gumpel announced the plans for the Okinawa park in March 2015, and after USJ officials made several trips to Okinawa to look for a suitable location, the company decided that a site on the north side of the Okinawa Expo Park, which among others houses Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, currently the most popular tourist attraction in the prefecture, would be the best location for the USJ theme park.
The plan included several attractions and hotels, and the park was envisioned to be complete by 2020. However, the plan was put on hold after Comcast acquired a 51-percent stake in the USJ for $1.5 billion in November last year.