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Japanese Residents Near US Base Win Compensation Over Noise Pollution

by VR Sreeraman on  March 1, 2009 at 10:49 AM Medico Legal News   - G J E 4
A Japanese court Friday ordered the government to pay more than 57 million dollars in compensation to residents over noise pollution from a US air base on the southern island of Okinawa.
 Japanese Residents Near US Base Win Compensation Over Noise Pollution
Japanese Residents Near US Base Win Compensation Over Noise Pollution
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More than 5,500 plaintiffs argued that noise from the Kadena Air Base, home to the US military's largest combat air wing, had caused them health problems.

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While the court recognised more plaintiffs would be compensated than in an earlier trial, it turned down for a second time their demand for an end to takeoffs and landings in the early mornings and evenings.

The Naha branch office of the Fukuoka High Court awarded a total of 5.63 billion yen (57.56 million dollars) to 5,519 plaintiffs living near the base.

A lower court in 2005 said some neighbours of the base "suffered psychological damages as their sleep gets disturbed by the fierce noise".

But it only recognised about 70 percent of the plaintiffs, ordering the Japanese government to pay some 2.8 billion yen in compensation.

The United States stations more than 40,000 troops in officially pacifist Japan under a security alliance reached after World War II. More than half the US troops are stationed in Okinawa.

The noise pollution, on top of a series of crimes by US servicemen, including murders and rapes, has caused anger in local Okinawa communities and triggered mass protests.

Source: AFP
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