By Ruri Takeuchi
On Feb. 26, the municipal office of Zushi announced that a total of five facilities, including community welfare facilities and workshops, will be either rebuilt or newly constructed under the new construction plan that will be implemented in the Zushi portion of the U.S. Forces’ Ikego Housing Area (spanning Yokohama’s Kanazawa Ward and Zushi). The plan does not involve altering the city’s green spaces. The Ministry of Defense’s South Kanto Defense Bureau conveyed this to municipal authorities on Feb. 25.
According to the base issue division within the municipal office, the plan is aimed at increasing the area and convenience of existing facilities. The city was not informed when the construction will start and finish.
Community welfare facilities will occupy the largest space (about 11,600 square meters) and comprise an assembly hall, an auditorium, a supermarket, and other facilities. Existing facilities located near Jinmuji Station on Keikyu Line will be rebuilt for this project.
Two workshops (about 2,800 square meters combined), which will be used to repair building structures and air-conditioning equipment, will be built from scratch inside a parking area near the Yokohama portion of the Ikego Housing Area and tennis courts located near the Ikego Forest Nature Park, respectively. For the construction of an exercise facility (about 2,000 square meters), an existing facility will be rebuilt to accommodate a gym and a training gym. A fire station will be built in an empty area near the park.
Zushi Mayor Satoru Kirigaya commented: “It is good that the city’s request for preserving the green space was honored and consideration was given to the environmental conservation of the park. We will request that the details and information on the plan be provided and hold consultations based on environmental conservation.”
Mayor Kirigaya and other city officials received a briefing at the site by the chief of the South Kanto Defense Bureau, the commander of the U.S. naval base, and other Japanese and U.S. government officials on Feb. 25. The Japan-U.S. Joint Committee agreed on the construction of new facilities in November 2018. The details had not been revealed until today.