Site at U.S. Base in Okinawa to Become Park: Kishida


Ginowan, Okinawa Pref., May 15 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Sunday that a residential site at a U.S. base in Okinawa Prefecture will be converted to a park before the site's planned return to Japan in fiscal 2024 or later.

The park will be for joint use by Japan and the United States, he said at the day's ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion to Japan from post-World War II U.S. occupation, held in the city of Ginowan in the southernmost Japan prefecture. He attended the event in person.

The land in question is the 23-hectare Lower Plaza residential area at the U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Foster, also known as Camp Zukeran.

"We will make necessary preparations so that we can start to use the park in the next fiscal year," which begins in April 2023, Kishida said. "We hope to steadily produce tangible results one by one as we aim to reduce Okinawa's heavy burden of hosting U.S. military bases," he added.

Earlier on Sunday, Kishida visited the Lower Plaza area, which straddles the city of Okinawa and the village of Kitanakagusuku, telling local officials, "I do want you to (actively) utilize the park."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press