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Omoromachi residents demand stop to skyscraper construction

Date Posted: 2008-03-26

The fast-growing Omoromachi area, a sprawling midtown region that used to be an American military housing area, is the island’s most modern and expensive in Naha City.
Omoromachi residents are now declaring ‘enough’ and calling for an end to new high rise construction in their neighborhoods. Resident groups say they want no more construction, and are challenging a Naha City zoning change approved last year that would permit more. The area is burgeoning with migrants from mainland Japan, sending real estate prices skyrocketing.
Naha City had planned to build its new city office building in Omoromachi, but dropped the project because of budget woes. Instead, Naha City sold the land to a private company for development after obtaining approval from the central government. Residents contend “Naha City applied changes to the plan for this town without asking the residents, and the basic planning was not satisfied to receive authorization from the government.” The groups are demanding “the authorization should be cancelled,” calling it illegal and an unfair way to apply paperwork.
Tetsuharu Chinen, who represents the Omoromachi area, says he’ll take the residents’ petition to both the Prime Minister and the House of Councilors in Tokyo, asking Naha City to cancel all planning. Aside from the illegality in procedure, residents complain “Naha City sold the land too cheap.” Naha City contends “We have done nothing wrong.”

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