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Waste disposal site foes win first round

Date Posted: 2001-10-13

The Naha District Court handed down a ruling on Wednesday, Oct. 3, ordering Kunigami Village Office to stop the construction work on a waste disposal site planned for Hedo. Local residents have fiercely opposed the plan physically preventing construction crews from entering the area several times.

In his ruling the judge cited a violation against the environment rights and residents’ rights called “iriai-ken” that has historically allowed local residents to use their near-by woodlands as a communal area. The local residents who are the plaintiffs in the case based their challenge to the village office on those rights and the judge recognized their claim.

The village had pushed on for the construction project since the end of September while the opposing residents took their case to the court. Village officials said they would abide by the court’s decision and halt the construction for now. However, they added that they plan to take the case to a higher court and seek to overturn the decision.

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