2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: matsuoka@ucla.edu
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 13:06:49 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Okinawa residents file lawsuit over noise pollution

>CNN.com - ASIANOW - Okinawa residents sue U.S. and Japanese governments 
>over noise - March 27, 2000Click
> March 28, 2000 

> Web posted at: 5:34 a.m. HKT (2134 GMT) 

> TOKYO -- Residents of Japan's Okinawa island have filed lawsuits 
> the United States and Japan to fight what they say is noise 
>pollution from Kadena Air Base. 
> The two lawsuits were filed Monday -- one against the Japanese 
>government  on behalf of 5,544 residents seeking more than 6 billion yen
>million)  in damages. The second suit was filed by 21 people against the
> government demanding an end to night flights at the base. 
> "The blasts at night become worse and worse," resident Tamotsu 
>Tokeshi was quoted by Kyodo news agency as describing the sounds of the
planes. "I 
> remember how my children used to cling onto my wife's legs in fear." 
> Okinawa, which has less than 1 percent of Japan's land mass, is home 
>to 75 percent of the U.S. military bases in Japan. 

> United States sues incinerator operator 
> Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday that it has 
>sued the operator of an incinerator accused of spewing dangerous amounts of 
> toxins onto the Naval Air Station Atsugi south of Tokyo. 
> "This lawsuit is an important step toward affirming our commitment to 
> protecting all those living and working on U.S. military bases," 
>David W. Ogden, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice
> civil division, said in a statement provided by the U.S. Embassy in 
> The lawsuit, filed in Yokohama, alleges that emissions from the 
>plant run by Enviro-Tech threaten the health and safety of the more than
> people living and working at the base. The suit seeks an immediate 
> suspension of the incinerator. An official at Enviro-Tech, who spoke on 
> condition of anonymity, said the company had no immediate comment. 
> Joint Japanese-American environmental monitoring of parts of the base 
> close to the incinerator last summer found an average level of 
>dioxin in the air at 8 times the Japanese safety limit. On the worst day 
>measured,  the toxin was found at a level 65 times the Japanese safety
> During a visit to the base by U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen 
>earlier  this month, the Japanese government promised to build a taller 
>smokestack at the plant, and to make sure special filters are installed to 
>clean up  the emissions. 

> Japan's media criticizes Obuchi 
> The lawsuits filed by Okinawa's residents were considered a blow to 
> Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi's chances of avoiding the 
> controversial issue during a Group of Eight summit to be held on the 
> tropical island in July. Obuchi reportedly hoped a successful, 
>glitch-free summit could bolster his re-election bid in general polls
later this 
> In a 1998 lawsuit, the court ruled that the government pay 1.37 billion 
> yen to Okinawa residents in damages, but rejected calls to have Kadena 
> halt night flights. In 1996, 5,945 residents near Yokota Air Base in 
>Tokyo filed a similar lawsuit against the two governments. 
> Japanese media criticized Obuchi for not closely examining the 
>problem of U.S. military bases. 
> The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. 

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