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Yomitan grows with land returned by U.S. military

Date Posted: 2009-01-29

Yomitan Village, which celebrated its 100th anniversary less than a year ago is flourishing, and village officials attribute growth to having more of its land back.

In 1972, when the Reversion Act returned Okinawa to Japanese control, the U.S. military had possession of 75% of Yomitan Village land. Today, the American military controls only 36% of village land, and the additional turf has helped Yomitan develop and grow. Much of the land was returned in the past several years, including the airport.

Land returned by the U.S. military is now being developed into a Peopleís Community Center, and agricultural production has stepped up. Itís all going according to plan, village leaders say, and more people are being drawn to the village. In 1980, the Yomitan Village population was 26,516, but has now swelled to 39,000. Yomitan is now the second largest populated village in Japan, and is engaged in a promotion to boost growth and urban development.

Yomitan has distinctly different characters, with rural environment in the northern part of the village coexisting with the more populous urban style business, schools and residential areas in the south and the central village offices, public facilities and cultural centers.

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