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OSAKA — An out-of-court settlement was reached Friday in a 12-year air pollution suit filed against the state and an expressway operator by residents of Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, who claim they or deceased family members developed asthma and other illnesses due to harmful substances released by motor vehicles and factories.

According to the agreement, the Environment Agency, the Construction Ministry and the Hanshin Expressway Public Corp. will take concrete measures to reduce emissions of harmful substances so the level of suspended particulate matter will be reduced to the environmental standard of 0.1 mg per a cubic meter of air in the area along National Route 43 and the elevated Hanshin Expressway, which runs above it.

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