Gimbaru Training Area
Spreading across the villages of Kunigami and Higashi, the Northern Training Area is the largest training facility in Okinawa. In the Special Action Committee on Okinawa's (SACO) December 1996 Final Report, both the US and Japanese governments agreed to return approx. 3,987 ha of this training area on the condition that a water zone and landing area be provided to allow access to the sea. Located in Kunigami village, Higashi village, it has a land area of 78,332,000m^2. With 71 land owners, the yearly rental fee is 476 million yen. There are a total of three Japanese employees. Figures for land area and number of land owners are from the end of March 2000. The yearly lease payment figures are from fiscal year 1999.
The United States and Japan released the Final Report of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa on December 2, 1996. The report made 27 recommendations to reduce the impact of the US military presence on the Okinawan people. This included the return of Gimbaru Training Area (approx. 60 ha/149 acres) with the intention to finish the process by the end of March 1998 after the helicopter landing zone is relocated to Kin Blue Beach Training Area, and the other facilities are relocated to Camp Hansen.
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