Yoshimoto Kogyo suggests establishing a base for entertainment in Okinawa

April 4, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

Yoshimoto Kogyo, a well known Japanese entertainment company has suggested to the Japanese government and the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) that land previously occupied by U.S. bases should be used to promote Okinawa to the world as a creative hub for the entertainment industry. The company plans to enhance the environment for the creation of content such as games and animation and to attract creators from both home and abroad. It also hopes to establish an entertainment school to develop skills for films and plays, and a shopping area. The proposal also factors in the use of land after the return of U.S. military bases.

It is calculated that the total area for the project would be over 17 hectares and that the construction cost would be around two billion yen. A spokesperson for the OPG commented, “The Okinawa International Movie Festival is an example of how we attach great importance on the entertainment industry and the fostering of human resources in Okinawa. This project does not hinge on plans to make use of land after the possible closure of U.S. bases. We would like to support the concept.” As the first stage in the project, the company wants to build a facility to develop human resources. The person in charge stressed that the idea is not premised on the return of U.S. military bases, saying, “Okinawa has a very unique culture and entertainment. We would like to develop this prefecture as art-oriented islands. We have a long-term vision, and hope to carry it out step by step.”

In terms of specific plans, the company has provided the following goals:
1. A place where creators work.
2. The habitat where thousands of people can live.
3. A school where people can study films and plays.
4. A shopping area that has an outlet mall and a small-scale casino.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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