3,000 to sue U.S., Japan over Yokota takeoffs, landings

A group of about 3,000 residents in 10 cities in Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture will file a suit Feb. 14 against the Japanese and U.S. governments to seek suspension of night and early morning landings and takeoffs at Yokota Air Base, it was learned Feb. 7.

The group will also seek a total of 2 billion yen in damages in the suit to be filed with the Tokyo District Court Hachioji Branch. The suit will follow similar litigation filed last April by another group of about 3,100 plaintiffs against the same parties. It will be the sixth lawsuit over the issue of Yokota Air Base flight noise.

Lawyers for the new group said each plaintiff will demand suspension of air base operations from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and seek 800,000 yen in damages. The group of plaintiffs who filed last April sued the U.S. government for the first time in the series of litigations. But the U.S. side has refused to respond to the suit, claiming it is immune to litigation of this kind.