Futenma roar appeal dismissed by Supreme Court without issuing a flight ban

October 14, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

On October 13 it was revealed that two days earlier, on October 11, in the No. 3 Small Courtroom, the Supreme Court (Presiding Judge Kohei Nasu) rejected the appeal from the plaintiffs in the suit against the government over the Futenma aviation roar issue in which residents of the area surrounding the United States Marine Corps Air Station (USMCAS) Futenma sought to halt flight activities during the night and early morning. This lawsuit over aircraft noise can be traced back to that lodged with the Court of Appeal In July 2010. Some 396 people living around the air station sought to secure an aviation flight ban and demanded compensation for damages from the government. The Court of Appeal decision confirmed the payment of twice the previous amount of compensation paid by the government in such cases, but rejected the request for a ban on night flying activities.

Ten of those residents who were dissatisfied with the ruling of the Court of Appeal responded by taking the case to the Supreme Court. With regard to the suspension of the appeal seeking a ban the flight activities from the residents, the Supreme Court explained the legal basis for turning down the appeal from the plaintiffs by saying, “Their stance is that there was a violation of the law due to factual error [in the Court of Appeal decision],” but this does not fulfill the necessary conditions for bringing the matter to the Supreme Court. In Article 312 of the Code of Civil Procedure the grounds for an appeal are stated as being that “the ruling is incorrect in its interpretation of the Constitution” or that it “contains violations of the Constitution.”

The plaintiffs’ lawyers stated, “While the judicial authorities confirm the presence of illegal noise pollution around the air station, they have done nothing to protect residents from the harm caused by this noise.” The lawyers also criticized the ruling of the Supreme Court, saying, “The appeal being dismissed without any flight ban is not a decision worthy of the Court of Appeal.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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