The Tokyo High Court ordered the government Thursday to pay 4.04 billion yen in compensation for noise pollution suffered by 4,865 people living near U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Kanagawa Prefecture, the highest amount ever awarded for air base or airport noise.

The base is used jointly by the U.S. Navy and the Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Upholding a lower court ruling, presiding Judge Toshimi Ouchi said the government failed to zone the area properly, adding that noise levels were “beyond the tolerable limit.”

Both the plaintiffs and the government had appealed the ruling by the Yokohama District Court in October 2002, which ordered the government to pay 2.75 billion yen in compensation.

The high court increased the compensation in light of the prolonged suffering of the residents following the ruling by the lower court.

Although they welcomed the additional 1.3 billion yen in compensation, some plaintiffs still expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling.

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