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Tourism, prefecture promotion rank high in 2008 budget

Date Posted: 2007-12-28

The entire process of attracting more people, goods and business services to Okinawa ranks at the top of expenditures in the newly released 2008 Okinawa Prefecture Budget.

Creation of a hub terminal for Okinawa Information Technology operations at Shinryo Park in Uruma City receives 800 million of the new budget, with direct tourism earmarked for 48 million to attract more overseas tourists to the prefecture. Another 12 million is tagged for research on how to interest foreigners in visiting the islands of Okinawa.

The new Okinawa Science Technology Graduate University gobbles up a healthy chunk of the 2008 budget, 10.744 billion. The new school has already had ground breaking ceremonies, and construction work on institute and administrative buildings is expected to begin following bidding in early 2008. The school already has 17 workers on staff, moving toward the 50 faculty and staff envisioned when it opens.

The Okinawa Prefecture 2008 budget totals 255.133 billion, a decrease of 3.4% from this year. Expansion of key airports, Naha International Airport and Ishigaki Airport, is allocated 27.960 billion. The goal is to have Okinawa become the international hub air terminal for Asia, with Naha and Ishigaki expanding shipping activities as well. Another 17 million has been set aside to refurbish the former Naha Airport passenger terminal into an air cargo terminal. Work is to begin next summer.

The Naha airport toll road and other highway extensions have been designated to receive 85.143 billion. The government says Nago City and Okinawa City have money assigned to rebuild prefecture owned apartment buildings.

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