Residents around Kadena Air Base sue the U.S. government

Residents around Kadena Air Base sue the U.S. government

On November 30, in front of the Okinawa Branch of the Naha District Court, plaintiffs who have brought a lawsuit against the U.S. government hold a banner.


December 1, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

With regard to ongoing legal action in which about 22000 residents living around the U.S. Kadena Air Base claim that the U.S. government is responsible for health problems arising from the presence of the base, 144 residents initiated a lawsuit against the White House at the Okinawa Branch of the Naha District Court on November 30. In it they demand a ban on flights at night and in the early morning hours and also demand compensation for damages and losses caused by the practices of the U.S. military. This is the second time that residents have brought a lawsuit directly against the U.S. government since they demanded a ban on flights in the second lawsuit lodged. It is the first time for them to demand compensation.

According to the bill of complaint, the plaintiffs have taken legal action against the U.S. government, demanding a ban on flights to and from the base during the period from 7:00pm until 7:00am the next day. They also request that the military not generate more than 40 db of aircraft noise around the residential area from 7:00pm to 7:00am, and 65 db during the daytime hours of 7:00am to 7:00pm. Each of the plaintiffs demand 1.5 million yen in compensation, and the total payment requested amounts to 216 million yen.

In the second lawsuit, the U.S. government refused to accept the bill of complaint, so the court never held an oral hearing, dismissing the case under the sovereign immunity clause.

The residents have brought the lawsuit against the U.S. government based on the law implemented in 2010 that enables plaintiffs to file a civil complaint against foreign governments.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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