• SHARE

OSAKA (Kyodo) The Osaka District Court on Thursday turned down a lawsuit seeking nullification of the government’s permission to build a new rail line in Osaka, citing possible serious noise problems.

Presiding Judge Fumio Hirotani said that full antinoise measures had been planned after the 2003 start of construction, brushing aside the plaintiffs’ concerns over future noise damage.

The plaintiffs — 99 individuals and corporations — said they will appeal.

The land ministry authorized a public-private joint firm, Nishi-Osaka Railway Co., in January 2003 to build a 3.4-km railway extension line linking Nishikujo Station in western Osaka with Kintetsu Namba Station located in Osaka’s downtown Minami business and shopping area.

In October 2003, the joint firm began building the Nishi-Osaka Line. Most of the track is underground, but a 1-km section near Nishikujo Station is aboveground.

The plaintiffs argued that noise may exceed the state-designated permissible levels and called the city’s environmental assessment defective.

But the three-judge panel ruled the city’s assessment is reasonable as a whole and the railway’s antinoise measures are most likely to clear the state-designated requirement.

Nishi-Osaka Railway was established in Osaka in July 2001 by 22 public and private entities. The prefectural and municipal governments, Hanshin Electric Railway Co., the state-run Development Bank of Japan, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Osaka Gas Co. are among them.