Tokyo High Court upholds compensation order over U.S. base noise

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-06 19:34:07|Editor: xuxin
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TOKYO, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The Tokyo High Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that ordered the Japanese government to pay compensation to residents suffering from aircraft noise near a U.S. air base in western Tokyo. But the court rejected their demand for flight suspension.

The court ordered the government to pay some 760 million yen (7 million U.S. dollars) to a group of more than 1,000 plaintiffs who live near the Yokota Air Base, which is shared with Japan's Air Self-Defense Force.

Presiding Judge Shigeru Nakanishi said, "The noise has led to emotional distress by disrupting daily life and causing discomfort, and has exceeded a tolerable level."

However, the compensation is to pay for the plaintiffs' sufferings in the past. The court turned down their demand for compensation for future damage. It also rejected the plaintiffs' demand for suspension of flights in early morning and at night.

A district court ruling in 2017 also awarded them compensation for past sufferings, but rejected payments for future damage and flight suspension.

In Thursday's ruling, the high court increased the amount of compensation to cover the sufferings after the district court ruling.

A leader of the plaintiffs, Toshimi Nakajima, said he was disappointed by the ruling as the noise pollution has worsened due to the deployment of the U.S. Osprey transport aircraft.

He said flight suspension is needed to stop the noise, adding that the plaintiffs will consider whether to appeal.

Yasuo Sekijima, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, indicated they would appeal the verdict, saying, "The lower court ruling was upheld unquestioningly. It denies future compensation and looks away from the fact that the unlawful conditions persist."