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Kin Town wants to buy military exercise area

Date Posted: 2008-06-13

Kin Town wants Namisato area land owners holding title to the Ginbaru Exercise Area to sell the property, so it can be transformed into a medical maintenance facility.

The 34-hectare training area is being returned to the original land title owners under the Japan-U.S. SACO agreement, and they all agree the land should be sold to Kin Town. The Japanese government has been paying the landowners ¥52 million each year as compensation for the land being used as a military exercise area. With that money gone, the landowners are looking for a good deal, and Kin Town has offered it.

The SACO agreement’s land return stipulated certain conditions that the land be transferred to Blue Beach as a helicopter airport, but residents opposed the idea, asking “what about noise and accidents at the helicopter landing airport.” Opposition elements are collecting signatures from residents to block the land return conditions.

Kin Town wants to transform the exercise area into a “Hometown Maintenance Work” to build a medical maintenance facility. Okinawa Prefecture has agreed that Kin Town will receive a ¥15.690 billion subsidy to purchase the property from the Namisato land owners. Kin Town says it plans to begin construction work this year, and that it has already established a budget for the project.

The Namisato area landowners say they’ll invest in Government bonds with the money received from the transaction. They say interest generated by the bonds will provide service to area residents.

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