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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 11 - 17  > High court orders state compensation for base noise pollution
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2007 April 11 - 17 [SDF]

High court orders state compensation for base noise pollution

April 17, 2007
The Nagoya High Court on April 16 ordered the government to pay a total of 1.188 billion yen to residents living around the Air Self-Defense Force Komatsu Base in Ishikawa Prefecture in compensation for past damages caused by the noise pollution of SDF and U.S. forces aircraft.

The ruling stated, “More than 40 years have passed since this problem came up, but the residents are still suffering from the illegal noise pollution that is beyond tolerable limits.”

The court recognized 1,559 out of 1,576 plaintiffs in the third and forth lawsuits as living in areas where the WECPNL (Weighted Equivalent Continuous Perceived Noise Level) reads 75 or higher, and ordered the state to compensate them.

It criticized the government for its failure to take measures to reduce the noise even though the final court decision on the first and second lawsuits had recognized the noise as illegal and ordered the payment of compensation.

The ruling, however, rejected the plaintiffs’ demand for the suspension of flights of the SDF and U.S. forces aircraft. Thus, it closed the door to the prevention of future noise pollution.

As part of the realignment of the U.S. bases in Japan, the government is pushing ahead with a plan to relocate the flight exercises of U.S. F-15 fighter jets from the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa to ASDF bases in other parts of Japan. This will inevitably increase the noise pollution from ASDF bases, including Komatsu Base. - Akahata, April 17, 2007
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