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Nago resort complex being taken private

Date Posted: 2007-04-06

One of Okinawa’s premier resorts is being moved from a combined Prefecture-private enterprise operation and being sold to a commercial company.

The Busena Cape resort, part of Nago City, is home to Busena Terrace Hotel, Summit Hall, a golf course and other recreational facilities. The Prefecture, Nago City and a private company headed by Dr. Mikio Higa have operated the facilities and businesses, but that is ending this month.

The Kokuba Group takes over April 1st, replacing the existing structure. The prefecture, which is ending the enterprise relationship, has been trying to get out from under the project since 2002. The Busena Resort was built in 1990, and has been the centerpiece of northern Okinawa resort development. The prefecture spent ¥3.2 billion of its budget to build it.

The Terrace Company will operate the hotel, with Dr. Higa’s company and the Prefecture out of the picture. Stockholders are complaining the deal isn’t right, because “Busena resort was made by the Prefecture’s own money. That means every Okinawan’s money was used to build it, and it is the property of each citizen. We are very anxious about that.”

The Okinawa Convention Bureau says “prefecture directors say the responsibilities have been taken care of, but what about the land itself? We believe the land should remain with the government, or at least sold to investors.” The Prefecture contends the new company will continue to pay rent on the Summit Hall, which is still government property. It insists the hall will not go to Kokuba Group.

Stockholders say they were kept in the dark about the entire transaction, and that they are upset.

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