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New theme park to be built near military bases in Okinawa, Japan

New theme park to be built near military bases in Okinawa, Japan
Japanese guests, on a boat, are frightened during a tour of Jaws, one of Universal Studios' attrections, at a press preview of Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, western Japan. The operators of the park plan to open another theme park in Okinawa. (Shizuo Kambayashi / Associated Press)

As part of a surge in theme park construction in Asia, the operators of Universal Studios Japan are planning to building a new theme park in Japan, possibly near U.S. military bases on the island of Okinawa.

The news of a new theme park comes only a few months after Osaka-based Universal Studios Japan launched its hugely popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction.

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But the new park in Okinawa will not be branded as a Universal Studios park and won't include Universal Studios rides or attractions, according to officials in Orlando.

Universal Studios Japan Chief Executive Glenn Gumpel told reporters in Japan that his company will build a park that will be smaller than its Osaka park and won't be based on themes from movies or television programs. He did not reveal the location on Okinawa of the new park or when it might open.

U.S. theme park developers, including Disney, Six Flags and 20th Century Fox, are well represented in the park-building boom, with plans to build new parks in Asia to take advantage of a growing middle class.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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