The Tokyo District Court on Monday dismissed a plea by local residents for a provisional injunction to prevent the former home of Empress Michiko from being demolished.

In rejecting the request, the court said the residents have no environmental rights in this case and no right to demand that the government stop work to raze the 70-year-old house in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward.

The request for a provisional injunction was filed Jan. 17 by seven people representing a group of local residents, on the grounds that they have the right to protect local cultural assets.

Demolition of the mock-Tudor home began Jan. 16, but the work has been stalled because residents kept blocking demolition workers from bringing equipment onto the site.

The house was handed over to the Finance Ministry in 1999 after the death of the Empress’ father, Hidesaburo Shoda, in lieu of an inheritance tax payment.

After tearing the house down, the ministry will sell the land to the Shinagawa Ward government, which plans to create a park there.

The Imperial Household Agency said in early November that the Empress did not want the home preserved.

The Empress, the wife of Emperor Akihito, was born in October 1934 as Michiko Shoda. The Shoda family founded Nisshin Flour Milling Co., now Nisshin Seifun Group Inc., in 1907.

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