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Iheya Village struggling with trash dispute ruling

Date Posted: 2008-12-25

Iheya Village’s mayor meddled in the process of a contract awarded to a Tokyo company to set up and run a waste treatment incinerator, and that move is costing the tiny village ¥146 million.

A high court has ruled Technology Institute was the legal operator of the incinerator plant in the 1,400-population Okinawa village, and has ordered Iheya Village to pay damages of ¥146 million. The process was clear, the court said, until Shinsuke Nishime, the village mayor, got into the act. Nishime ignored the contract with Technology Institute and entered into his own contract with another company to run the facility.

Technology Institute retaliated by confiscating all equipment and filing suit. Iheya Village is appealing to the Tokyo-based company to work out a payment plan of some sort, explaining “otherwise we can’t manage the village operations.” The Chamber of Commerce says it can’t help, because it can’t give subsidies to small size companies for rent and support.

Iheya Village citizens are in an uproar, demanding that mayor Nishime should be responsible for paying the ¥146 million in damages, since he caused the problem. They’re also calling for his resignation. The Village currently has a total of ¥105 million in its bank accounts, with another ¥60 million on the books in tax revenues. The village is scheduling a public meeting to demand Nishime explain his actions, and then resign.

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