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Government toughens stance against reluctant landowners

Date Posted: 2002-11-30

Officials at Naha Defense Facilities Administration Bureau have completed plans to take to court landowners who refuse to sign lease agreements with the government allowing their land to be used for U.S. Military bases. The court is reportedly scheduled to hear the case on March 13, 2003. The government lawsuit became possible when a new law governing land leases for military use was enacted in April. Leases on the land in question ended Aug 22. Some landowners have reportedly refused to sign new leases for 10 years, and the new law makes it legal for the government to continue using the land without the owners’ consent. The trial will concern land on six facilities; the airfield on Ie Island, Camp Hansen, Camp Shields, Torii Station communication center and Makiminato oil storage area. Similar disputes over land on Kadena Air Base and Camp Zukeran will be taken up at a later date, DFAB officials say.

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