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Okinawa officials, Tokyo decide on northern projects

Date Posted: 2003-08-08

New projects which emphasize tourism and industrial development of northern Okinawa were key elements of the joint convention of the 11th Northern Region Development Council and the 8th Relocation Site and Surrounding Area Development Council. The Council met Aug. 4 at the official residence of the prime minister in Tokyo. The delegation representing Okinawa consisted of Governor Keichi Inamine, Nago City Mayor Takeo Kishimoto, and heads of twelve other towns and villages from the northern part of the island.

The meeting approved the first portion of the Northern Region Special Development Projects. The approved list comprises 34 different projects, both private and public that are together worth about 5 billion. Eight of the 15 private projects are new.

Many of the new projects intend on utilizing new ideas of eco-tourism, such as experience and long stay tourism. Another project on the approved list is a tourist boat that sails along the Fukuchi Dam Lake in Higashi Village. Ginoza Village was approved to have a facility to process shikwasa (Okinawan lemon).

Nago City is scheduled to become a Financial Special Zone, and will get help with a human resource development project that will send six or seven people to Hong Kong and Tokyo for on-the-job training at various highly developed organizations and high tech companies. A plan to build a new town in the districts of Henoko, Toyohara and Kushi will be the basis of the development plan for the three areas.

Other projects on the list include an Ocean Wellness Resort Facility in Motobu Town, Park Golf Hall in Kunigami Village, and development construction of Matsuda Cave in Ginoza Village.

The total budget for the Northern Region Special Development Projects is 10 billion, and the second allocation of the budget is to be discussed between Okinawa Prefectural Government, local municipalities, and the national government at next council meeting.

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