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Monorail extension through Urasoe City being discussed

Date Posted: 2011-08-19

Indecision and delays in how to approach extending the Yuirail Monorail system on Okinawa has Urasoe City contemplating how it best should stake a position for the future line.

An application for extending the monorail route is now on the table, calling for a 4.1km extension from the current Shuri end station through Urasoe City to the Nishihara Expressway IC. Urasoe City sent a memo to Okinawa Prefecture this past week noting “it is hard to respond to an application of special permission, because no discussion and agreement about solutions to strategies of large debt and deficits which Okinawa Monorail Company has, and responsibility for proportionate shares of operating support in the future.”

The third sector, Okinawa Monorail Company--which Okinawa Prefecture and Naha City finance --plans an application of special permission in late August, but in case it cannot get an agreement from Urasoe City, there is a possibility that there will be delays in scheduling commercial expansion. Urasoe City will announce its consideration at an opinion exchange committee on extending the monorail route with the Democratic Party of Japan Okinawa Prefecture chapter..
According to the plan, 2.4 km of the extended route would be in the Urasoe City area, and Urasoe City would join to the third sector.

The goal is to create the 4.1km extension section to open in 2019. To this end, Okinawa Prefecture is making hasty preparation for an application before the end of this month. Urasoe City thus far hasn’t changed its recognition as “We have no divergent view” about necessity for extend the route.

Urasoe City has tried to attract interest in the monorail, including calling Urasoe city citizens’ entire interest meetings before this time. Urasoe City agrees about maintenance on an extended monorail, and has concluded a basic accord and memorandum that the government agencies should start fund s saving.

One reason for Urasoe City to change its stance to a more positive posture in this time of application of special permission approaching, a senior member of Urasoe City points out “there is no consultation for solution strategy of long term loans and burdens proportionate operational support, accumulated deficit and liabilities in excess of assets.” An official also explains “We are ready for obligations in keeping with our position, but in this time of social security costs increases, we cannot make financial plans for Urasoe City with financial burdens that are not clear in the future.”

Urasoe City has assumed responsibilities for the application of special permission with understanding that prior consultation and agreements regarding operations support with Monorail Company, Naha City and Okinawa Prefecture.
On the other hand, Okinawa Monorail Company side assumes “monorail has an accumulation loss, but it had been in the black for a single fiscal year before depreciation, so the operation will be improved by increase of customers by extending the line.”

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