Published: Saturday 31 January 1998

More than 2,800 residents living near the us Atsugi Naval Station, used jointly by the us Navy and the Self-Defence Forces, in Kanagawa prefacture near Yokohama have filed a lawsuit against the government seeking compensation for noise pollution. The lawsuit, third since 1976 and the largest-ever lodged against the government, plans to demand a monthly amount of us $184 per person, totalling about us $18 million.

The residents also plan to ask the government to pay the monthly compensation retroactively for upto three years. At Astugi, noise-levels exceed 75 on the "weighted scale." The lawsuit seeks to expand the area the residents complain is polluted with noise "beyond tolerance" levels by redu-cing the benchmark figure in the weighted scale from 80 to 75.

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