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Ishigaki mayor, residents unite to oppose new construction

Date Posted: 2007-12-06

Okinawa Prefecture has given the okay to developers to create a new apartment complex in Ishigaki City, and local residents are vehemently opposed to the decision.

Residents want to protect the island city’s scenic beauty, and has enlisted the Ishigaki City mayor’s support in the battle against the Prefecture. Mayor Choushou Ohama says “I know that Ishigaki City scenery has been too much changed by new buildings for mainland Japanese immigrants, and we have to protect our city by our hands.”

A new apartments complex in the city’s Yoshiwara area has been approved for construction, and residents are furious. The mayor is promising to take the case to the Prefecture in Naha City, and explain why new construction isn’t in Ishigaki’s best interests. “Our fight is known by everyone nationwide,” he says, “and people are watching this trial in a very interesting way because they know if this building goes up, being built against our ordinances, then other buildings will come and we won’t have beautiful nature anymore.”

As hearings continue, Mayor Ohama says “even city assembly members agreed that we made new ordinances to keep our beautiful city. We want the Prefecture to know our mind.”

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