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Kadena Town bursting with pride at economic upturn

Date Posted: 2008-04-04

Urban redevelopment in the Kadena Rotary area is complete, and new restaurants, hotels and a shopping arcade are now open.

April 1st marked the start to the renovated business district, and Kadena Town is predicting things will begin changing even more. The Japan Self Defense Ministry Okinawa’s District Office has moved into Kadena Town, and officials are welcoming the government agency and thanking it for bringing a happy atmosphere.

The new downtown arcade is full, with every single shop now occupied. Kadena Town is forecasting significant growth, in part because the Self Defense Ministry is bringing its staff of more than 4445, plus their families, to the community. Allied engineering companies and their staffs and families are also migrating to Kadena Town.

A new monthly hotel and weekly hotel have opened for the first time, the first long term occupancy hotels in the town. So many immigrants are flocking to Kadena Town, the Kadena Chamber of Commerce says “to tell the truth, we are so happy to have the Japan Self Defense Ministry moving here. We could never fill our shopping arcade to 100% before, but now there is no empty arcade space left.”

Town officials and the Chamber acknowledge that the Japan Self Defense Force role is linked to the U.S. military, but say they’re not complaining. Some people, they note, say Kadena Town can do well and “we can make a living without them”, but town leaders don’t agree. Kadena Town is hauling out the “Welcome to Kadena Town” banners, and more than 200 are now flying in the downtown area where streets are now crowded with pedestrians and shoppers.

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