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Naha-North Railroad Scheme Resurrected

Date Posted: 2000-09-08

Proponents of a project to construct a railway connecting Naha and northern parts of the island got a small notch ahead with their dream, as the prefecture agreed to include money in next year’s budget to conduct a feasibility study on the idea. The scheme is nothing new. Back in 1978, Naha City and Okinawa Prefecture made a similar study. The Prefecture Assembly also passed a resolution in 1974 that stressed the need for a railroad. The resolution pointed out that Okinawa is the only prefecture in Japan without a railroad.

However, consequent studies by Japan Railroad Corporation showed that a railroad would not be profitable in the foreseeable future and the plan was buried. An offshoot of the original plan was the Naha monorail project that connects Naha Airport and Shuri. The monorail link is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2003.

Before the war, Okinawa had a narrow gauge railroad that connected Naha and Haebaru. It was destroyed in the war and never rebuilt.

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