NAHA, Okinawa Pref. – The Naha District Court on Friday ordered former Okinawa Gov. Masahide Ota to pay around 328 million yen in damages to an environmental group for illegally implementing development projects in an area inhabited by rare birds, including the Okinawa woodpecker.
Seventeen members of the Okinawa environment conservation group had sought some 370 million yen in damages over the projects, which harmed wildlife in the Yambaru woodland area in northern Okinawa.
Presiding Judge Misao Shimizu said it was illegal for the Okinawa Prefectural Government to have built a 14.2-km road in Yambaru by March 1998, as proper steps had not been taken to terminate the Yambaru area’s conservation status.
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