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Okinawa Prefecture expresses interest in working with Nago Mayor Inamine to rent pandas

  • January 20, 2018
  • , Ryukyu Shimpo , p. 2
  • JMH Translation

Nago City Mayor Susumu Inamine, who will seek his third term in the local election on Feb. 4, has made a campaign pledge “to join hands with the prefectural government to bring pandas to Neo Park Okinawa.” At his regular press conference on Jan. 19, Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga indicated the prefecture’s interest in the project, saying, “There seem to be signs now of the project falling into place.”

 

Governor Onaga said he has heard about this project for the last half year or so from the people involved. “There is a good chance this plan will be realized,” he added. Onaga took a forward-looking stance on collaboration with Nago City, saying, “We would like to work together with Nago if it looks like the project will move forward.”

 

Newcomer Taketoyo Toguchi will also run in the mayoral election. His camp is critical of Inamine’s plan, saying: “The project will cost 600 million yen, including over 80 million yen to rent two pandas for one year. There are things we need to use our tax money for before we rent pandas.”

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