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Awase residents upset over construction of highrise

Date Posted: 2004-02-19

Residents in Okinawa City Awase area are upset about the construction of a nine-story apartment building in the area, and took their grievance to the court on Monday.

Residents say that when they signed contracts to buy their new single homes in the area, the developer assured them that there would be no high rises in the area. When the construction company started construction on the new apartment building in May, residents claim that they were assured that the new building would be only three floors high.

However, the new building now has already four floors with five more to come, and its neighbors say that it would deprive them from sunlight and a view they admired. When the construction company did not take their grievances seriously, they took their case to Naha District Court.

The construction company president maintains that no such promises were ever made and that his company is acting within legal limits. “I have never heard that anyone make promises to residents. We also checked with proper authorities about the sunshine and other such matters before we started the construction. We also have all required construction permits for this building,” the president stated.

Neighborhood residents disagree. “When we moved here in 1985, the company that developed the land and built and marketed the houses said that this area would have only private single houses, none higher than two floors. It even stated that in their sales pamphlet,” one angry resident stated.

Although the case is now heading to the courts, the developer building the high rise is determined to complete the building. “We finished four floors already and will start building the fifth this month,” a company spokesman stated.

With the notoriously slow pace of Japanese courts, it is likely that all nine floors will be long finished, and residents inside the building, before any court decision is handed down.

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