Kawasaki Heavy GSDF ruling upheld

Kyodo, JIJI

The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court order that Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. pay some ¥234 million in damages to the government over the crash of a Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter in 2000.

While the focus of the suit was on whether the government can seek damages under the product liability law in the same way that consumers can, presiding Judge Takahisa Fukuda said, “There is no reason, judging from the provisions of the law, that the state is exempted from the application of the law.”

Determining that the government could be considered a “victim” under the law, Fukuda ruled the crash of the antitank helicopter at the GSDF’s Higashifuji exercise area in Shizuoka Prefecture was caused by a defective engine delivered by Kawasaki Heavy.

Two crew members were seriously injured in the accident.