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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 October 14 - 20  > Court rejects Iwakuni residents’ demand for halt to US night flights
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2015 October 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

Court rejects Iwakuni residents’ demand for halt to US night flights

October 16, 2015
The Yamaguchi District Court Iwakuni Branch on October 15 rejected plaintiffs’ claim to a ban on night and early morning flights of U.S. military aircraft, while ordering the Japanese government to compensate for damages in a lawsuit filed by 654 residents living near the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station.

The ruling also dismissed the plaintiffs’ demand for an order for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, co-user of the U.S. Iwakuni base, to stop flying their aircraft in the night and early morning hours.

In the ruling, presiding Judge Mitsuoka Hiroshi explained that Japanese law has no provision restricting the flights of U.S. military aircraft and that the residents’ request to suspend SDF flights is not a legal issue but an issue of national policy.

Meanwhile, the judge acknowledged that military jets’ flights at night and in the early morning hours brought about disturbances in sleep and other emotional damage to the plaintiffs and ordered the government to pay about 558 million yen in damages.

At a rally held after the ruling, the plaintiffs criticized the court for continuing to allow the U.S. military to maintain extraterritorial rights.

Representing the plaintiffs’ counsel, lawyer Yoshikawa Itsuo welcomed the compensation order but criticized the court’s refusal to prohibit nighttime and early morning flights.

Past related articles:
> Iwakuni citizens file suit against U.S. military aircraft noise [ March 24, 2009]
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