: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: News
Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

Futenma commander suit tossed out by Naha court

Date Posted: 2004-09-24

A lawsuit filed by 400 residents demanding that the commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station be held responsible for their charges of damage caused by aircraft noise has been tossed out by the Naha District Court.

The Ginowan citizens also wanted a halt to nighttime and early morning flights.

The Presiding Judge Kyoji Iida ruled that Japan has the right to hear the case, even though the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement prohibits Japan's courts from imposing damages or restrictions on active U.S. service members or base employees. The residents' group filed an immediate appeal to the courtís Okinawa Branch decision. This is the first case where a civil suit has targeted a U.S. military officer over aircraft noise.

Judge Iida said Colonel Richard Lueking, the Futenma commander, has no responsibility in terms of compensation for noise damage. He was referring to the State Redress Law as well as a special civil law. The two laws stipulate that if civilians suffer damages caused by the U.S. military as it carries out its duties, only the Japanese government can be held liable for compensation.
The plaintiffs, who live near the Futenma base in Ginowan, Okinawa, chared Lueking failed to prevent noise from disturbing the residents' daily lives. They also sued the central government, demanding compensation for damage and a ban on night and early morning flights. That case is being heard separately.

The plaintiffs, who are demanding a combined •630 million from the government and Lueking, filed the lawsuit against the colonel nearly two years ago, in October 2002, but Leuking refused to let court officials or the postal service deliver the notification of the case inside the base.

In February, the court posted a public notice about the suit on a bulletin board on its premises, but Lueking failed to submit a response in his defense or show up in court.

Aircraft operated by the U.S. military are noiser now than they were a year ago.

A study just released by the Okinawa Prefectural Government says areas surrounding major U.S. bases in Okinawa had noise levels rise.

The study examined the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in the city of Ginowan and the U.S. Air Force Kadena Air Base in the city of Okinawa. After its release, examiners asked the Okinawa office of the U.S. forces in Japan the same day to make adjustments to improve the situation. Prefecture Officials measured aircraft noise levels at nine locations around the Futenma base, and found that the daily noise levels had increased at eight out of the nine locations in fiscal 2003, which ended last March 31. Particularly louder was the Ojana district in Ginowan, which reported a noise occurrence of 90.5 times a day, up 5.5 times from a year earlier.

The prefecture also found thatan international environmental index for gauging noise from aircraft showed increases at 12 out of the 15 locations.

Browse News Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

JU FacebookOkistyleOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker