Court ruling reverses ban on Atsugi’s Japan Self Defense Forces night flights
TOKYO — The Japan Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lower-court ruling banning Japan Self-Defense Forces nighttime flights out of Naval Air Facility Atsugi and reduced compensation for noise, while also allowing late U.S. military flights to continue.
The ruling means JSDF flights can resume from 10 p.m. through 6 a.m., according to parties involved in the decision.
Last year, the Tokyo High Court awarded about $72 million in compensation to more than 7,000 residents living near Atsugi for noise created by U.S. Navy and JSDF aircraft.
The 8.2 billion in compensation wasn’t appealed. However, the high court also provided for 1.2 billion yen (about $10.6 million) compensation for noise expected to continue through the end of this year, which the supreme court rejected Thursday.
The added compensation was supposed to end by the end of this year, after which the Navy’s aircraft were projected to move to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan’s southwest.
The Navy move, once slated for 2014, is now scheduled for an indefinite date in 2017.
The Japanese government had appealed to the supreme court over the flight ban and future compensation ruling, while the residents appealed, seeking tighter restrictions.
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