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Future of Awase Golf Course in Question

Date Posted: 2000-02-12

Residents and base land owners of Kitanakagusuku Village held a forum on Saturday, February 5th, to discuss future plans concerning the use of Awase Golf Course and other areas that are scheduled to be returned within the next few years. Other areas in Kitanakagusuku scheduled to be returned under SACO agreements include Kishaba Housing Area and the lower Plaza Housing area.

The debate over the usage of the Awase Golf Course has been going on since the announcement of its return four years ago. It is scheduled to be returned to the landowners in 2003. While some want to develop the land commercially, there are many who opt for continuing to operate the facility as a civilian golf course.

The main thing in everyone’s mind is money. “It may take as much as 10 to 15 years after the return of the land before we can have any income from it, and we cannot afford to wait that long,” was the line of thought of many landowners. 18.5% of the land in Kitanakagusuku is currently used by the military.

The Landowners’ Association Chairman Junichi Kyan is of the opinion that it is better to try to operate the golf course than try to convert the land to other uses. “If we use the land for urban development, it will take at least 15 years before anyone can get any income, whereas the golf course can bring in money immediately,” Kyan said.

Others disagreed. “The area of the golf course is prime real estate, and to continue to use it as a golf course is waste. After all, Okinawa has plenty of golf courses and that means stiff competition,” a participating landowner said.

Still, others advocated hiring a consultant to make plans. “In any case, paperwork takes a long time. In the meantime, we can operate the golf course, and decide afterwards whether we want to use the land for other purposes,” was the final opinion of a group of landowners attending the meeting.

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