Damages Upheld for Only Past Noise Pollution in Yokota Base Suit

Society

Tokyo, June 6 (Jiji Press)--Upholding a lower court ruling, Tokyo High Court on Thursday ordered the Japanese government to pay damages for noise caused by aircraft taking off from and landing at the U.S. military's Yokota base in Tokyo while rejecting plaintiffs' demand that the flights be halted.

The state was ordered to pay a total of 769 million yen to the plaintiffs, who are residents near the base, for past noise pollution from the facility.

Presiding Judge Shigeru Nakanishi said that the noise levels at or above 75 on the weighted equivalent continuous perceived noise level, or WECPNL, an internationally recognized measurement of aircraft noise, "went beyond socially tolerable limits."

But the court rejected the plaintiffs' demand that the government pay for future noise damage, with the judge saying, "There is potential for the base's use status to change, depending on the domestic and international situations."

"Even if it were limited to an extremely short span, it cannot be said that there is necessity or rationality to it," he added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press