Japanese court dismisses Kadena noise suit against U.S., citing lack of jurisdiction
February 9, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
On the afternoon of February 9, the Okinawa branch of the Naha District Court (presiding judge: Tetsuya Fujikura) handed down a ruling in a case brought against the United States by 146 of the plaintiffs in the third Kadena noise lawsuit. The 146 plaintiffs were demanding compensation for damage and suspension of U.S. military aircraft flights. However, Judge Fujikura dismissed the case, saying, “The claims concern matters over which Japan lacks jurisdiction, and are all invalid.”
After the lawsuit was filed in November 2012, the court did not deliver the written complaint to the United States and didn’t hold a single hearing.
The case against the United States was filed on the grounds of the “Act on the Civil Jurisdiction of Japan with respect to a Foreign State, etc.”, which was enacted in 2010. It was the first noise lawsuit to be brought against the United States on the grounds of said law in Japan. Some of the plaintiffs submitted medical certificates showing that they suffered noise-induced hearing loss and the like.
A ruling will be handed down in the third Kadena noise lawsuit on February 23. The third Kadena noise lawsuit is being fought against the Japanese government and demands suspension of nighttime and early morning flights by U.S. military aircraft, as well as compensation for damage.
(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)
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