OTSU, Shiga Pref. – The Otsu District Court on Monday ordered the city of Ritto, Shiga Prefecture, to suspend the issuance of some 4.3 billion yen in local government bonds aimed at covering part of the cost of building a new station on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line.
Ruling in favor of a group of residents opposed to the bond issue, presiding Judge Shigeko Inaba said the issue is illegal because “it assumes a payment that should be shouldered by a private company, Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai).”
The ruling is a boost for Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada, who was elected in July on a pledge to freeze the construction plan.
The plaintiffs argued the bond issuance was unacceptable because it covers construction costs for a facility that will become the property of JR Tokai and therefore is not a public facility.
The municipality argued the bond issue was within its discretion.
According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, the ruling was the first to order the suspension of a local government bond issue.
The Shiga Prefectural Government, the Ritto Municipal Government and neighboring cities asked JR Tokai to build the new station.
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