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Naha Chamber calls for relocation of military port

Date Posted: 1998-04-12

Naha Chamber of Commerce Chairman Akira Sakima recently called for transforming the Naha Military Port area into an international trading hub port at the earliest possible date. He also made an unprecedented statement recommending that the functions of the military port be moved to a new facility to be constructed on a reclaimed land in Urasoe City outside Camp Kinser.

The return of the Naha Military port was agreed upon 24 years ago in 1974, but on condition that an alternative site to be found within the prefecture. Since then nothing much has happened expect sometime bitter arguments over the matter. The Urasoe site was first suggested a few years ago, but has met fierce opposition from local politicians and prefecture officials.

Sakima's proposal marks the first time that an official organization has backed a concrete relocation plan, and the move is expected to put new pressure on prefecture officials and other groups.

A prefecture official expressed a surprise when told of Sakima's proposal, and only reiterated the prefecture's official position which is against any relocation of military facilities within the prefecture.

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