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Marlin in the Middle of Difficulties

Date Posted: 2000-01-28

The service of the supersonic passenger boat, Marlin, is presently undergoing severe financial difficulties. During the conference of municipalities held recently in northern Okinawa, it was announced that Marlin's services in the future seem impossible due to financial difficulties stemming from the fact that Okinawa Prefectural Government cut down its subsidies for the service. At first, when the Prefectural Government decided to cut its subsidies to the Marlin, the conference of municipalities in northern Okinawa had expressed its intention to request financial support from the Government of Japan. However, they got a response indicating that the Japanese Government might not be able to support them financially when the Prefectural Government stops its financial support. The problem being a difficult one to solve, 8 municipalities in northern Okinawa, except for Ie, Motobu, Izena and Iheya, expressed their opposition to the continuation of Marlin's services at their meeting. The main reasons advanced for their opposition have to do with the huge debts they currently have on themselves. Besides, the Marlin may actually be an obstacle to the promotion of northern Okinawa, even through its services were established for that reason. It has turned out to be an unprofitable venture. On Tuesday, January 25th, the municipalities had a meeting with the Prefectural Government to discuss the issue. At the end of the meeting, the authorities decided to halt marlin services from March 2000, mainly because it is presently operating at only 20% of its capacity.

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