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Urasoe City anxious over Camp Kinserís 2014 return

Date Posted: 2009-10-08

Camp Kinserís a quiet, idyllic logistics base in Urasoe City, and itís on the list of six bases the U.S. military would like to return to land owners in 2014.

Urasoe City thinks itís a great idea, because Camp Kinser and its 830,000 square meters of land is one of the largest around, excluding Kadena Air Base. Thereís a catch, though. The American militaryís reorganization program is requesting Japan provide an alternate facility of comparable size in exchange. Thereís not any large area available in Urasoe City, and perhaps not anywhere on the island.

Land reclamation is one suggestion, but Urasoe Cityís had problems with ocean reclamation projects in the past. Environmental problems have proven expensive and cumbersome.

Officials are looking across the island to Katsuren Town, where over 10 years ago plans were made for an alternate facility in form of a manmade island outside of the town. The project got the U.S. excited, and businesses too, but it hasnít taken off yet. Itís not forgotten, but is languishing. The business community continues to talk about luring food processing and oil supply facilities, but it takes investors and money.

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