National

Group loses Yokohama theater suit

Kyodo

The Yokohama District Court on Wednesday dismissed a 1.23 billion yen damages claim by a citizens’ ombudsman group against former Kanagawa Gov. Hiroshi Okazaki over the purchase of a theater they say was a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The plaintiffs, including writer Hisashi Inoue, demanded that the Yokohama District Court order the governor to pay the prefecture 1.23 billion yen, the cost of the purchase.

According to the petition, the theater was completed in Yokohama in late 2000, but its artistic director, kabuki actor Bando Tamasaburo, resigned soon afterward because the structure failed to block outside noise.

The prefecture purchased the theater in 2001, when the managing company was unable to run the business after Bando’s resignation.

The theater stands on land owned by the prefectural government, which had planned to give the company a 500 million yen subsidy before deciding to buy the facility.

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