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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 21 - 27  > Fishermen seek court arbitration to block dredging of Yokosuka Port in preparation for nuclear-powered aircraft carrier homeporting
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2007 February 21 - 27 [US FORCES]

Fishermen seek court arbitration to block dredging of Yokosuka Port in preparation for nuclear-powered aircraft carrier homeporting

February 23, 2007
Aiming to block a government plan to dredge Yokosuka Port in preparation for the homeporting of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base located at the port, three local fishermen recently submitted to the Yokosuka Summary Court a request for arbitration regarding environmental damage on the grounds that the dredging will cause serious adverse effects on fishing.

The government plans to remove about 600,000 cubic meters of soil and sand from the seabed around Berth 12 where the aircraft carrier will be moored in order to increase the depth from 13 meters to 15 meters. It will start the dredging work as early as April.

The fishermen in their written statement pointed out that due to the pollution from the U.S. base a large amount of sludge containing harmful substances such as mercury, arsenic, and lead has accumulated at the port, that deformed fish have been discovered in the area, and that dredging work will spread the contamination into nearby fishing zones.

They said they may file a lawsuit demanding an injunction of the dredging, in the case that the Yokosuka City government (the port authority) begins consultation on the dredging with the national government in disregard of the arbitration.
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