50 Years On: Development of Ex-U.S. Sites Key to Okinawa Growth

Society

Naha, Okinawa Pref., April 26 (Jiji Press)--The development of former U.S. base sites in Okinawa Prefecture is seen as a key to vitalizing the economy of the southernmost Japan prefecture.

A half century after Okinawa's return to Japan in 1972, commercial facilities and high-rise condominiums stand on former U.S. base sites.

Of the Okinawa land where facilities related to U.S. forces were located during the post-World War II occupation by the United States, about 30 pct has been returned to Okinawa.

About 2 kilometers northeast of the Kokusai-dori major shopping street in Naha, Okinawa's capital, there is a redevelopment area called Shintoshin, or new urban center, which hosts buildings of public offices, a large duty-free shop and 30-story twin tower condominiums.

The area, where fierce battles took place during World War II, was seized by the United States after the war and was turned into the Makiminato housing area mainly for commissioned officers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press