Fishermen and citizens file lawsuit, calling for a halt to Isahaya Bay reclamation works

More than 400 fishermen and other residents of four prefectures in the Kyushu region have asked a court to stop the government's Isahaya Bay reclamation project, claiming that it has caused serious environmental destruction in the Ariake Sea in Nagasaki Prefecture.

On November 26, the 416 plaintiffs from Nagasaki, Saga, Fukuoka, and Kumamoto prefectures filed a complaint with the Saga District Court. They said the reclamation has deprived the tideland of the function of purifying the sea water and therefore produced abnormal red water.

They also demanded that the government pay 100,000 yen in compensation to each plaintiff for violating their rights to fish and enjoy benefits from the natural environment.

Before going to the district court, more than 100 plaintiffs and their lawyers held a rally and marched through Saga City.

The chief lawyer for the plaintiffs said that they have taken the action out of a sense of duty to protect the natural environment for the next generation.

He also said that the suspension of the reclamation project is just one of the necessary steps and that they will continue to struggle until the Ariake Sea is rehabilitated as the "Golden Sea." (end)