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Time to bring an end to the Isahaya Bay floodgates issue

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A longstanding court battle over the government-led Isahaya Bay land reclamation project in Nagasaki Prefecture is still not settled.

A court ruling that became final in 2010 sided with the claims of local fishermen and ordered Tokyo to open the floodgates, which keep the bay waters closed off, for a limited period.

The government, however, responded with a suit calling for another ruling that would relieve Tokyo of that obligation on the grounds of subsequent changes in circumstances.

The Fukuoka High Court approved the government’s claims in 2018, but the Second Petty Bench of the Supreme Court on Sept. 13 voided that decision. The case was sent back to the high court, which will re-examine whether there have really been “changes in circumstances” of the sort that would justify the claims.

The Fukuoka High Court’s decision was obviously unreasonable. It concluded the grounds for opening the floodgates had already been lost........

© The Asahi Shimbun