Thu, Oct 12, 2017 - Page 5 News List

Tokyo residents win US$5.5 million compensation over noise from US base

AFP, TOKYO

About 1,000 Tokyo residents yesterday won compensation over aircraft noise coming from a nearby US military base, but they lost a bid to halt flights at odd hours.

The Tokyo District Court ordered the Japanese government to pay the residents about ¥610 million (US$5.5 million) in total.

However, it rejected their call to block flights between 7pm and 7am at the Yokota Air Base, which hosts about 4,000 US military personnel.

Local residents have long complained about noise levels around the base in a Tokyo suburb, particularly during take-offs and landings at night and in the early morning.

“The noise has disturbed their daily life and caused psychological damage” to residents, presiding judge Takeo Setoguchi said, according to Jiji Press agency.

The government “is not making enough of an effort to find a solution to the noise issue,” he added.

However, the court rejected the request to suspend flights at odd hours, in line with previous rulings that have cited the Japanese government’s inability to control the actions of a foreign third party, in this case the US military.

The ruling also threw out a request for damages based on future flights from the base.

Lawsuits have been filed across Japan over noise complaints related to US military bases in the country, which hosts about 47,000 troops as part of a joint security treaty.

In February, another court awarded record compensation of ¥30.2 billion to about 22,000 residents in Okinawa living near a US military base.

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