NAHA, Okinawa — Both parties in the Kadena Air Base noise suit have appealed the Feb. 17 ruling that ordered Japan’s government to pay $26.7 million to compensate 3,881 Okinawans for health-related problems caused by jet aircraft noise.

On Monday, the government appealed the Naha District Court ruling, arguing that the court ignored the government’s evidence that adequate steps had been taken to reduce jet noise from the air base.

The plaintiffs, unhappy the judgment fell short of the $59.5 million they sought, appealed last week. They also were upset the court dismissed their demands for a halt to night flights, their representatives said.

The suit was filed in March 2000 by 5,542 residents of the six communities surrounding the base. In the February ruling by the court’s Okinawa City branch, a three-judge panel limited compensation to plaintiffs who lived in neighborhoods the court deemed still were exposed to constant and unbearable aircraft noise.

The court rejected a demand that they be paid $328 each per month for “future damage.”

Chief Judge Kyoji Iida said despite the Japanese government spending $1.3 million to install soundproof windows in more than 42,000 homes and public buildings near the air base, “no remarkable reduction in the noise levels has been observed.”

However, the court ruled, the matter of night flights must be resolved within the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty framework.

Both appeals were filed with the Fukuoka High Court’s Naha branch. No date has been set for a hearing.

Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.

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