The Tokyo District Court on Thursday dismissed a plea filed by 55 Harajuku residents demanding an injunction against a local business association to force them to pull the plug on their annual Christmas light display.
With the court challenge over, the lights along Omotesando, which have attracted an estimated 1.4 million visitors annually since the street was first lit up in 1991, will stay on until Dec. 25 as originally scheduled. The plaintiffs filed the suit complaining of heavy traffic and garbage problems caused by the large number of visitors drawn by the lights.
Although presiding Judge Tomonori Sagara admitted the display has caused problems for local residents, he said that the inconveniences are temporary. The plaintiffs expressed disappointment with the ruling, and said at a news conference that they will continue to demand that the event be canceled.
They also said that they will videotape the heavy traffic to submit to the court as evidence of their suffering at a later time. Members of the local business association said they were satisfied with the ruling but did not hold a press conference out of consideration for the feelings of the local residents.
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