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Okinawa to receive •16 bil. for G8 upgrades

Date Posted: 1999-07-03

Okinawa Prefecture will receive •16 billion from this yearís supplementary budget to ready Japanís southern-most prefecture for the 2000 Group of Eight Summit.

The money will be used to improve telecommunications throughout the island and upgrade major thoroughfares, already under strain from a road system barely able to handle the congestion workers face there daily. Unlike mainland japan, Okinawa does not have a railway system, and its people must rely on either public transport or their own vehicles.

Approximately •6 billion has been earmarked to extend fiber-optic cables to Nago, host site for the summit, to allow the many thousands of visitors and local residents to use telecommunication equipment without being disrupted.

Aware of the importance to run a successful and smooth running summit, the government plans to spend about •6 billion to resurface the highway. Also, to alleviate traffic congestion approximately •4 billion will be used to widen by two lanes the main highway from Naha Airport, where most of the dignitaries will deplane.

The Nago summit, to be held from July 21- 23, will mark the first time a G8 conference is held outside of Tokyo.

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