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Mainlanders pressing locals to sell land used by military

Date Posted: 2009-05-21

Landowners whose property is in use by the American military make a good profit, largely because payment is guaranteed and made by the Japanese government.

There’s no risk of not being paid rent-lease money, a problem for many whose land and buildings are affected by the lagging economic situation. Aside from guaranteed payment, the money’s always on time going into landowner bank accounts.

As land values rise, mainland investors are making overtures to buy up the Okinawa land in use for American military installations. Okinawa officials say many of the new landowners are rich mainlanders, some of whom are retiring to Okinawa. Already, the land occupied by Kadena Air Base is largely shifted into the hands of non-Okinawans.

Okinawans selling their land, officials say, are mostly young people who don’t remember World War II, and who are looking for quick cash to pay off loans and homes.

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