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Court issues mixed ruling for US base landowners

Date Posted: 2001-12-07

The Naha District Court on Nov. 30 ruled both in favor of and against the plaintiffs in a case filed by owners of land leased by U.S. bases. The landlords had argued that the Special Land Use Law as amended in 1997 was unconstitutional, asserting that proper procedure was guaranteed by the Constitution and that the retroactive nature of the law was contrary to constitutional principles. In his decision, Presiding Judge Yuzuru Menbiki stated that the amended law did not violate the Constitution because it applied to a limited number of people only. However, the government of Japan was ordered to pay damages in the amount of ¥479,161 to compensate one of the plaintiffs for the illegal 389-day occupation of a portion of the U.S. Navy’s Sobe Communications Facility in Yomitan.

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