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Doctor donates Miyako land for new senior citizens center

Date Posted: 2005-02-18

A medical doctor born on Miyako Jima wants to make the place better for senior citizens, but is running afoul of tight budgets in his attempt to create a facility.

Doctor Choumei Genka was born in Hirara City 83 years ago, and now lives in Tokyo. He wants to leave a legacy in his hometown, and has donated land for a new senior citizens center.

“Please use my land for a senior citizens’ nursing care spot. I hope this will become the nursing hub of the community. I give the land free; please take it.”

Hirara City Mayor Akira Ise says the gesture is nice, but “we are appreciative yet have a problem. We don’t have any budget to make a senior citizens’ facility. We also don’t have money to have a staff to work there.” The mayor says it was a tough decision saying ‘no’ at the City Assembly meeting.

Genka grew up on Miyako, and says “Hirara City’s Nishizato area is becoming an empty, hllow spot. I want my home town to promote itself and begin attracting people to come. I ant this facility to operate as a non-profit organization foundation. “ He adds that he first tried to give the land to the city more than 10 years ago, but even then the city couldn’t accept it because they had no money to construct a facility.

He’s trying a new tactic now, encouraging the city to accept more than just the land from him. “If an NOP foundation will be formed to operate it, and if the city will organize it, we’ll work for a budget to hire a staff. I’ll give money for the facility, as I’d like to start construction next month.” Genka says a foundation would take the financial burden away from the Hirara City government.

Genka is urging the City Assembly to reconsider. Today, the city hasn’t exactly closed the door, and is watching to see how the construction project begins in the coming weeks. After that, they say they’ll try to become more involved.

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