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Yuirail dumps Japan Red Cross from new development project

Date Posted: 2005-04-28

The Japan Red Cross thought they were partners in a new development near Asahibashi Station in downtown Naha.

Yuirail, which is running the project in cooperation with Naha City, says no. Yuirail is the local monorail company. Red Cross officials are crying foul, charing that there was an agreement to include their organization in the new facilities. They say Yuirail dropped them in favor of commercial businesses, leaving them without the promised offices.

The joint ¥18.3 billion project near Asahibashi is a large scale operation development project begun long before the monorail. The private sector is contributing more than ¥8 billion to match the government’s ¥10 billion.

A Yuirail spokesman confirmed the charge, saying earlier discussions had included the Japan Red Cross, which wanted to consolidate a complete hospital complex and offices for its Okinawa operations. “However, when we had final talks with the Red Cross, it turned out that they could not deliver what we had agreed before. Most of all, they said that it was too expensive for them, so we had no other option than to drop them,” the spokesman said.

Irate Red Cross officials say that Yuirail apparently made a decision at their meeting not to include Red Cross in the list of potential tenants. The Yuirail spokesman said that designers had included space, but “Our positions were so far apart that it would not have been possible to reach any agreement by the time we had to leave our application for the building permits”.

Those design plans called for the Red Cross to share a building identified as “Jichi Kaikan,” a Naha City-owned building that houses conference halls, party halls and an inn. “The development around this area has already started, and it will have several office buildings, a couple of hotels and residential apartment buildings,” the spokesman said. He said planners anticipate no problem finding possible tenants to the area. “We have talked to a number of business people, and the interest is there

Red Cross officials are not happy. “We did not know that they had made a decision to cut us off. It was our understanding that we were still continuing our negotiations over what we want and what they can offer,” a representative of the Red Cross commented.

The Red Cross officials said that they had planned to move the Okinawa Red Cross Hospital, the Blood Center and the Japan Red Cross Okinawa Branch offices under the same roof.

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