One in two Kadena residents are plaintiffs in the fourth Kadena noise lawsuit

One in two Kadena residents are plaintiffs in the fourth Kadena noise lawsuit

Kadena Air Base

December 29, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo

By Erina Ishii

The fourth Kadena noise lawsuit has now become the largest-scale domestic class-action lawsuit with over 35,000 plaintiffs involved. One in two of the 7,752 Kadena Town residents have become plaintiffs in this lawsuit. This is an increase compared to the third lawsuit, in which 2,836 town residents, or one in three town residents, were plaintiffs. Recognition of the lawsuit has spread, and the participation of the child-rearing generation has boosted this increase.

In Kadena Town, 80 percent of which is taken up by Kadena Air Base, the town residents are routinely troubled by noise from fighter aircraft and engine adjustment sounds from aircraft in the late night and early morning. According to the town government, in the Yara region aircraft noise occurred, on average, 46 times per one day in most months in 2021.

Tsutomu Fukuchi, the head of the Kadena branch of the plaintiffs, said, “Many town residents have noticed the abnormality of the noise and have begun to express it.” The whole of Kadena Town has a noisiness index (W value) of 75 or greater, and all of the town residents can be plaintiffs. Fukuchi mentioned, “Given that town residents are equally hurt by the noise, the number of plaintiffs is still not enough.”

The Yomitan branch of the plaintiffs accounts for 3,400 plaintiffs, which is 4.65 times the number in the third lawsuit. It has become common knowledge that residents to the north of Zakimi, Yomitan Village were judged to have the right to claim compensation in the third lawsuit, and this has opened the opportunity to be plaintiffs in the fourth lawsuit to the residents of Maeda, Onna Village.

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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