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Naha Military Port to be expanded at Urasoe

Date Posted: 2006-05-13

Naha Military Port will be built a bit larger than originally designed when it makes a move to Urasoe City in the next few years.

Authorities say the closing of Camp Kinser makes additional storage and staging facilities on the port a necessity. Naha Military Port will move to the Urasoe Wharf area under the Special Action Committee on Okinawa agreement made years ago. The plan called for the new port to be 35 hectares, compared to the current military port in Naha’s 56 hectares. Iwao Kitahara, Defense Facilities Administration Agency Director, says an increase of 14 hectares is necessary because of last week’s decision to close and return Camp Kinser to the Japanese. The original agreement called for moving the port to Urasoe, but had scaled down the size because of storage and staging facilities available at the adjacent Camp Kinser.

With Camp Kinser being returned in the port being expanded to 49 hectares. Urasoe City mayor Mitsuo Gima says “The 14 hectares is a separate plan from the SACO agreement, and must be treated as a new base.” He added that since the location is within his port district, he’ll “establish a committee to discuss the additional requirement.”

Kithara says a detailed plan for returning Camp Kinser to Japan and moving Naha Military Port to Urasoe will be developed before next March. He said the staging area will be constructed next to the port, but couldn’t offer any details on the exact location or how it will be configured.

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