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Feuding continues over Awase Tidelands project

Date Posted: 2009-06-03

Legal arguments are under way in Naha City over Okinawa City’s appeal of an earlier court decision regarding the Awase Tidelands reclamation project, and multiple battle lines are being drawn both for and against the project.

Okinawa City and Okinawa Prefecture both are officially on the side of continuing the project, which has been in planning stages for more than 30 years. Mitsuo Tomon, Okinawa City’s mayor, is arguing both sides of the case, now saying she didn’t mean to call the second area development promotion ‘difficult’, but rather, to say there shouldn’t be ‘withdrawal from the second area promotion planning, but the planning has to be gone over.”

A total of 516 citizens opposed to the Awase Tidelands reclamation project have taken both the prefecture and Okinawa city to court to stop work. The court has ordered work stopped, but the project continues anyway, despite the court ruling. Resident representatives are asking the Okinawa City Office to stop construction. Proponents of the reclamation and development work argue the project is financially viable for Okinawa City.

Katsuhide and Tomo Kobashigawa, representing the residents, are demanding Okinawa City withdraw its appeal. The City Office contends “when the city buys reclaimed land, it only buys land where there’s been decisions made as to its potential use, not before.” That, the city maintains, “means Okinawa City doesn’t worry about stocks of land.”

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