: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: News
Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

Awase landfill becoming the focal point of Okinawa City mayor election

Date Posted: 2002-03-29

As Okinawa City mayoral election nears, the controversial Awase landfill project is becoming the focus of the debate between the two candidates, the incumbent Masakazu Nakasone seeking his second term and his challenger Teruko Kuwae, the former Okinawa City Welfare Section chief. The voting is scheduled for April 21.

The debate over the Awase project has raged in the city for months with large groups of citizens opposing the project and demanding a popular vote over the matter several times. The city administration is determined to get the project started and have resisted any such vote saying that it is unnecessary.

At a recent public debate both candidates defended their position. Nakasone stated that the purpose of the project was to create a hub for international friendship and get Okinawa City a piece of the prefecture’s tourism business. “The Okinawa City Assembly, Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, local and national government officials, and the East Coast Beach Resort Development Committee have all widely discussed this project, and everyone has agreed that the plan, once completed, will have a very positive effect on the city’s economic future. I see no reason for a popular vote over the project at this point,” Nakasone stated.

Kuwae agreed that the project and its effects are important indeed. “Because this project has such wide range of effects on people’s lives that is exactly why it should be brought to a popular vote. This will affect not only our lives but also the lives of our children and grand children. Local people should have the chance to cast their vote on whether the site should be kept in its natural state or whether it should be turned into a hotel and tourism area,” she argued.

Although both agreed that environmental concerns should be taken seriously, Nakasone says that the environment can be protected, and sea life and plants in the area can be transferred to other locations. He stressed that economic considerations are very important to the future of the city and should be taken seriously. “We have to ensure that there are enough jobs and business opportunities for the future generations if we want to create a viable and thriving city,” he says.

“That’s exactly why the project should be examined thoroughly once more and put on hold or cancelled altogether,” Teruya counters. She says that there is no basic plan that would create 6,000 more jobs as the project’s proponents claim. She says that the plan was made over ten years ago when the city was experiencing a very high economic growth. “Now that the times have changed completely, it would be irresponsible to proceed and to take new realities into account,” she claims. “Besides, people now appreciate nature much more than before and realize that the quality of human life depends very much on the quality of our environment.”

Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

OkistyleOkistyleJU Facebook

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker