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The central government decided Thursday not to appeal a high court ruling made May 22 ordering the state to pay more compensation for noise pollution to residents around Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

The Naha branch of the high court ordered the state May 22 to pay 1.37 billion yen in damages to 867 residents, up from the 800 million yen award mandated to 768 residents by the Naha District Court.

However, the court rejected residents’ demands to suspend night flights at the base and to pay future compensation for noise produced by base operations. “It’s a pity that we couldn’t make our point,” said Vice Defense Minister Masahiro Akiyama, who added that the state wouldn’t appeal the case because of the legal precedent the Supreme Court set in 1993 over noise pollution at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo. “We have made base noise problems our top priority and will sincerely deal with the high court ruling,” Akiyama said.

Kiichi Yogiashi, Conciliator of the General Affairs Department at the Defense Facilities Administration Agency, pledged his agency would make efforts to improve the living environment and gain the understanding of Kadena residents.

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