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Naha Cosmopolitan plan dragging

Date Posted: 1998-03-27

The plans for Naha Cosmopolitan City, in the returned former U.S. Military Makiminato Housing Area, are extremely behind schedule.

In 1992, city officials announced plans to build the development, which was to house the Naha City offices, a resort, an Okinawa museum, a school and the Naha Prefecture Theater. At this time, however, only dirt roads to accommodate the proposed construction of the area have been made, and the Naha International High School, planned to open this April, is the only building standing in the expansive area.

Work on the entire area was originally slated to be completed in the year 2000. Delays in the plans have caused officials to relocate the theater to Urasoe City and hold off on the groundbreaking of the museum. Construction of office buildings which were to house Okinawa Prefecture and Naha City employees have been suspended due to budgeting problems, a common predicament for other projects scheduled to be built in the area.

More than five thousand homes and apartment buildings were expected to be built and the land was to be sold beginning this year. Now it seems that prospective homeowners and renters may have to wait until 1999 before they can purchase the land for homes. Everyone interested to buy land is still welcome to participate in the project.

Subcontractors who were to begin installing air conditioners, plumbing, and wiring have been unable to work on anything but the school because the project is so far behind. According to Naha City Cosmopolitan Corp, Ltd., "the government should have done a good job to this point, but they have delayed and stopped production of everything. This is why civilians cannot afford to continue the project." In April, the corporation will reorganize and begin planning again, hoping this time the planning project will be finished in 2000. Multi-entertainment planning, including music, sports, cultural events, and other activities, will most likely be used in the new approach. While there still are huge problems to be faced because of the current delays, officials are positive that Naha Cosmopolitan City will be a success, bringing in needed tourists and revenue.

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