Japan court rejects injunction plea to block construction of Osprey facility

A court in Japan has rejected a plea by a group of residents for an injunction to block the construction of a Ground Self-Defense Force facility for Osprey transport aircraft in the southwestern prefecture of Saga.

Presiding Judge Mitsui Norimasa of the Saga District Court issued the decision on Thursday.

Construction of the facility for the tilt-rotor aircraft just west of Saga Airport began last June. The group of four plaintiffs, including fishers, filed for a provisional injunction last August to halt the work.

Japan's Defense Ministry plans to transfer 14 Ospreys temporarily deployed at Camp Kisarazu near Tokyo, along with three that have yet to be acquired.

But the four plaintiffs say the fishing cooperative sold the plot of land to the government without the permission of all the members.

Those involved with filing the injunction also say they are concerned about safety because Ospreys are prone to accidents.

The government had been seeking the dismissal of the injunction. It maintains the land was acquired in a valid manner.

The ministry aims to open the new facility next year. An injunction would have been effective immediately and could have delayed the plan.