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Nago’s Neo Park struggles to keep open

Date Posted: 2002-06-09

Neo Park Okinawa in Nago City that maintains one of the prefecture’s two zoos is facing increasing economic woes that may lead at least to dismissals of some workers if not outright to closing the facility.

The park is a so-called third sector enterprise with Nago City as its principal owner. Now city managers say that due to dwindling number of people visiting the park, they may be forced to cut staffing. However, they are meeting stiff resistance from the Neo Park Preservation Association. Recently, association sent a delegation to meet with Nago City Mayor Takeo Kishimoto and petition him to guarantee the jobs at the park. In his reply Kishimoto stated, “Naturally we would like to keep all jobs in the park, but its economic outlook is very bleak. I have to discuss with the Neo Park Executive Committee to see what we can do. The main point is to keep the facility open.”

The Neo Park Executive Committee already last year came to a conclusion that the only way to keep the facility open is to reduce operation costs and that means cutting the number of workers. Of course, another possibility would be to attract more paying visitors, but how to do that is completely another ball game, and no one in Nago City government seems to have an idea how to play that.

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