National / Politics

U.S. yet to pay compensation in 13 noise complaint cases

Kyodo

The United States has yet to pay compensation in relation to 13 military base noise complaint cases for which final rulings have been given in Japan, the Defense Ministry officials said on Wednesday.

Japan has tentatively shouldered all of the roughly ¥21.8 billion in compensation for those cases, including late payment charges, as the U.S. has not agreed to share them with Japan as provided in the bilateral Status of Forces Agreement, they said.

The U.S. side is viewed as liable for more than ¥10 billion of the total.

The Status of Forces Agreement provides that the United States shoulder 75 percent of such compensation payments if it alone is found liable for noise damage, and share payments equally with Japan if both countries are liable.

Japan has requested the United States pay its share of compensation but the two sides have yet to reach an agreement, the officials said.

“We will hold talks (with the United States) to resolve differences,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference, admitting that Tokyo alone had paid compensation so far.

The cases include three involving the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, one regarding the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, four concerning the U.S. Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, three pertaining to Atsugi base in Kanagawa, which is used jointly by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Navy, and two over the Air Self-Defense Force’s Komatsu base in Ishikawa.

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