Suit filed against military housing

Kyodo

The city of Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture, filed a lawsuit against the central government Friday demanding that the state withdraw a plan to build a U.S. military housing complex in part of the area straddling Yokohama and Zushi.

In the suit, filed at the Yokohama District Court, the city of Zushi argues that the government is bound by the 1994 agreement with the city and the Kanagawa government not to build additional housing in the Ikego district, an area known for its natural environment.

In July 2003, Japan and the United States agreed to build an additional 700 housing units on a 288-hectare area on the Yokohama side of Ikego in exchange for the return to Japan of five U.S. military facilities in Yokohama.

The government maintains that the plan does not constitute a breach of the 1994 agreement because the housing units will be built on the Yokohama side of Ikego. It says it plans to seek Yokohama’s approval of the plan.