• Kyodo

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The Yokohama District Court on Wednesday rejected the Zushi Municipal Government’s lawsuit against the central government over the state-approved construction of a U.S. military housing complex in an area straddling the boundary between Yokohama and Zushi, both in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Presiding Judge Yoshiteru Kawamura said the nature of the demand for the plan to be rescinded was inappropriate.

“The content (of Zushi’s demand) was not a contest over a matter of specific rights or obligations, or a legal issue,” he said.

According to the suit, filed with the court in September 2004, Zushi claimed the central government was bound by a 1994 agreement it made with the city and with the prefecture not to build additional housing in the Ikego district, an area known for its natural environment.

By 1998, 854 U.S. military residences had been built on the Zushi side of Ikego.

Japan and the United States agreed in July 2003 to build an additional 700 housing units on a 288-hectare site on the Yokohama side of Ikego, in exchange for the return to Japan of five U.S. military installations in Yokohama.

The central government argued the 1994 accord was only an agreement on general policy and policy measures and was thus not legally binding.